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Training exercises


I am shortly running two half day workshops. One on time management and one on creative thinking. I like to run workshops that are as participative as possible and I wonder if anyone has used any imaginative group exercises on either of these topics.
Matt Somers

5 Responses

  1. 27 ways to use a paper clip
    some follicle thoughts i.e. just off the top of my head!

    Instructions for delegates / creative thinking:

    IN pairs, name two objects and think of X ways they could be used together.

    In 3s, describe how the world would be without green.

    In 4s create a short story with words given by the rest of the group.

    Give metaphors for the way this group / team ‘is’

    Tell a tall story

    Have a conversation in which you cannot refer to yourself.

    Make up some excuses for being always late for meetings

    What would make THIS team / department . training a life enhancing experience?

    Put your colleagues into a tableau / ‘sculpt’ and explain your reasons.

    Have a dicussion in which you can not refer to the past in any way.

  2. Link activation/exercise to the subject
    Try this… Split into two teams and get them to play darts(one dart board at each end of the SAME room). Brief each team separately with team A’s objective to strike 1-20 in order. Team B’s objective is to hit 1-20 in ANY order.

    Both teams will see this as a race and Team B will overtake A. Once team A realise the rules are different, their mood will swing and they are likely to fall further behind.

    As Team B finish, ask them (openly) to hit 1-20 IN ORDER. When they have finished, stop Team A and discuss.

    Collectively they will highlight unfairness, rigidity -v- flexibility, direction -v- participation and a whole host of other issues. You can direct discussion towards planning and structure on the one hand and/or flexibility and creativity on the other.

    The same activation can be used in both scenarios. It will be your skill as a facilitator that ensures the key issues are drawn out.

  3. Creative thinking
    A couple of fun exercises that do work.

    1 Ask individuals to imagine they are journalists writing an article for their paper on New Years Eve and that the article is a summary the main events of the last year. But that the year in question is 2100.

    2 Ask the individuals to list, in 2 minutes, as many possible uses for a paper clip. Then straight after ask them to list, again in 2 minutes, as many possible ways a paper clip just could not be used.
    Ask them to divide their scores by two to get number of uses per min.
    When you have collected the scores congratulate then on finding more things that you cannot do than you can!
    Then invite general comment on the ‘can’t do’s’ and eliminate as many as possible i.e. someone has come up with a way that a paper clip could be used.
    Repeat the exercise again later and notice the swing in the scores. On a weekend programme I have used this technique and repeated the exercise three or four times until we get to a situation where no one can think of a situation where a paper clip could not be used.
    The Paper Clip idea is attributed to Tony Buzan

    Ask the group to work in teams of at least three. In their teams think of their business but imagine they are a similar company in Germany who has plans to open up in the UK. The German company will be their main competitors.
    Round 1 Ask the teams to work out a strategy for the German company to move into the UK.
    Round 2 Knowing this strategy what has the UK company to do wrong for the German company to succeed?
    Round 3 Knowing your own company’s weaknesses what, must they do to prevent any other foreign company threatening them?

  4. Imaginative exercises for Time Management
    Matt, Happy New Year. My company Adacel Technologies develop training simulators that allow users to practice what they have learnt in the classroom in a simulated yet realistic PC based environment. Many organisations have deployed our products within the classroom to reinforce key learning points. As a by-product it provides useful time away from the lecture as well as allowing the lecturer to participate with smaller groups. We have a time management product available which might deliver the sort of imaginative yet leading edge exercises that you are looking for. I’d be happy to discuss this with you. If you think it’s of interest then please contact me at the enclosed email address or on 0161-955-4385. Regards, Alastair Shakeshaft


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