Entertaining has a serious purpose. It is there to engage people. Most clients start by asking for leadership development because that is what they know they should ask for. But they also know that leads to potential death by a hundred bullet points to the head: that is an ugly way to go.
Most clients prefer leadership development prefaced by the Tribal Business School. Tribal Business School is based on seven years research with tribes around the world: it shows how they survive longer, with fewer resources in far harsher environments than most modern organisations. By opening a different window on reality, we give participants permission to think differently, challenge themselves and make progress.Enquire About A Leadership Event Read Case Studies
The firm wanted to help 100 of their new and middle managers understand the nature of leadership and deal with some of the immediate challenges they face: motivating and running a team, making a difference, taking control.
This whole day session mixed three approaches.
First, we gave a broad introduction to the nature of leadership and management, which led to groups working out.
Second, we inspired the whole group with a short burst of Tribal Business School, to help them think about the values and behaviours that they might want to develop for themselves.
Third we asked the group to identify the specific skills they wanted to work on. We used the afternoon for the small groups to work on twelve key skills that they had identified; each group worked on one skill which they then shared with the rest of the group.
Client reaction. “One of the best training events ever. You mixed inspiration and practicality. I have rarely seen the staff so engaged.”
The challenge was to help the top leadership team think more like a team and less like a series of fiefdoms.
To reframe the way the leadership team thought, we introduced them to the Tribal Business School, focusing on the role and values of the leader. This took the discussion away from a dry discussion about “what is leadership” and helped them think differently about their role and how they worked.
In the discussion which followed, specific barriers to collaboration were identified and solutions worked out. The formal session set the themes for a productive dinner session where the new ways of working were agreed.
Client reaction: “we were nervous about doing tribes, but it was just what we needed. It broke down all the barriers and let us discuss topics which had been out of bounds.”
The challenge was to help the global partners to act as leaders, rather than as professionals meeting their own billings targets. In particular, they wanted to focus more on developing the next generation of leaders.
The solution was to let the partners discover both the problem and the solution for themselves. In the weeks before the event, we worked closely with the sponsoring partners to create a dialogue which would engage the partners and let them challenge themselves. We needed to avoid preaching to the partners.
The event designed to be high paced: short small group work sessions (5-10 minutes each) followed by plenary discussion of up to fifteen minutes each. The highly interactive approach kept the partners, with short attention spans, fully engaged: there was no surreptitious texting in the background. At key points, key frameworks and tools were introduced to give practical help and guidance to the partners to help them act as leaders and managers.
Client reaction: “this was far harder than asking for a presentation, but far more rewarding. We got a level of engagement which we rarely see from partners”.
The challenge was to help the engineers, who were being reorganised, rediscover their pride in the job and to become more proactive and take more responsibility.
We introduced the engineers to tribal business school, and then asked them to map their worlds and tell their stories. We did not tell them to have pride: we let them rediscover the pride that they had always had in doing their job.
Client reaction: “I could feel the mood change. It is like a cloud has been lifted”.
The challenge: to inspire and motivate at a global conference, following straight on from a long discussion about targets and goals. Presenting to an audience standing up, 360 degrees around the stage with plenty of exits at the rear if they got bored.
Use imagery and stories of Tribal Business School to inspire and to focus on the key theme of the conference: finding the courage to take responsibility and make a difference.
Client reaction: “Brilliant”.
The ultimate goal of any event is your participants should learn something which is new and useful to them. Not just useful: they will put it into use. If each participant learns and uses just one thing, that is a big success. In most high impact events, different participants learn different things because they have different experiences and needs. This means that high impact events must offer more than just one theory and one idea: there should be something for everyone.
Education does not come from a guru standing on stage, waving his arms and revealing a secret truth which no one has ever heard of before. It comes from experience and from learning from each other. A large proportion of high impact events are devoted to peer group learning. This is structured to avoid "death by report out".
It is structured so that a series of topics, which the participants themselves select, can be explored. The goal is to identify best practices which work in the unique context of your organisation. These events are about what works in practice, not theory.
Entertaining has a serious purpose. It is there to engage people. Most clients start by asking for leadership development because that is what they know they should ask for. But they also know that leads to potential death by a hundred bullet points to the head: that is an ugly way to go. Most clients prefer leadership development prefaced by the Tribal Business School. Tribal Business School is based on seven years research with tribes around the world: it shows how they survive longer, with fewer resources in far harsher environments than most modern organisations. By opening a different window on reality, we give participants permission to think differently, challenge themselves and make progress.
These events are guaranteed to be both practical and original. They draw on the practice of setting up successful businesses and on original research on leadership around the world, including seven years of research with tribal societies.
Throw away the electronic fetters of phone, internet, email and computer. Get rid of health and safety, legal, HR, IT, facilities, brand police, accounting. All gone. Now try leading.
“This book is packed with ways to influence that range from transparent to devious. it explains how some people become influential, and some people do not. read this book if you want to get strangers at a dinner party to tell you how they lost their virginity!”
- Jonathan Huggett