Viv Mcwaters

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‘Easy and safe’ is over-rated

Viv Mcwaters

Working with groups generates lots of dynamics. want to focus on the dynamic between the facilitator and the group. There’s a long held position about facilitation that the facilitator needs to make the task easy for the group, and to create a safe space. disagree. want to be (not literally) spoon fed. If it is too easy they will disengage.

2016 52

Bolder Conversations

Viv Mcwaters

I’m riffing some ideas here based on the four themes we’ve been exploring for Creative Leadership: Having bolder conversations.

Can improv save the world? It can’t make it any worse!

Viv Mcwaters

There seems to be bad news around every corner. Where else might it be used? Tickets are £129 and are available from here.

2016 49


Viv Mcwaters

Have you ever been to an event that is talking about being one thing while being something else ? With questions, taken in threes, at the end?

2016 54

Creative Facilitation – the Book!

Viv Mcwaters

Exactly two years ago, I spent six weeks with my ankle in plaster after an operation. With nothing better to do, I wrote a book. Start anywhere.

2013 99

A few thoughts about what it’s like to be a free agent gleaned from John Hagel’s talk

Viv Mcwaters

John is the current darling of the social entrepreneur set. With good reason. He speaks to the dilemmas that free agents and changemakers face. Let Go.

2014 73

Staying Alive

Viv Mcwaters

I’m riffing some ideas here based on the four themes we’ve been exploring for Creative Leadership: Having bolder conversations.

2016 39

Creative Facilitation – New stuff. Yay!

Viv Mcwaters

How does a facilitator announce new stuff? ” Sounds a bit lame really. It’s boring to talk about this stuff – much better to do it.

2015 52

Connecting More Deeply

Viv Mcwaters

I’m riffing some ideas here based on the four themes we’ve been exploring for Creative Leadership: Having bolder conversations. You betcha.

2016 34

The meaning of words

Viv Mcwaters

Even with a sample size of 14 responses*, there’s some interesting insights regarding word meanings and the use of language when facilitating.

2014 52

The games we play

Viv Mcwaters

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of games, play and movement. Recently I attended a MASHLM Humanitarian Summer School in Lugana, Switzerland. And a special callout to Paulo Gonçalves, Founder and Director of MASHLM, who made it possible for me to attend. There’s time pressure – make a choice NOW! No going back. You bet!

Game 51

Travelling a different road

Viv Mcwaters

There is a link, of course. have to refer to my notes for the other stuff. But this is not a post about stories. It made a lot of sense. Tweet This!

Engaging the Resistance

Viv Mcwaters

I’m riffing some ideas here based on the four themes we’ve been exploring for Creative Leadership: Having bolder conversations. ”  .

2016 28

How to do more of what works

Viv Mcwaters

Funny how things come together sometimes – an online course about decision-making in complexity and uncertainty, a book about being an astronaut, a workshop on social labs, and an exhibition on making animated movies. It enables us to take advantage of good planning, serendipity, the unexpected and luck. Should we throw away the plan? Please.

2014 43

Transforming your business with creative facilitation

Viv Mcwaters

Warning: Thinking out loud. For a long time facilitation has bothered me. To use some jargon, it needs a context. An indulgence? This made me pause.

2012 46

HUMAN – sci-fi meets aid

Viv Mcwaters

As a long-time fan of science fiction, I was delighted to hear that J.  Science-fiction, you’re thinking. Why science-fiction? Enough from me.

2016 21

Creating productive spaces

Viv Mcwaters

Monday’s Beyond the Pale (tips for better meetings). The idea is to make things simpler. Get rid of the tables. All of them. Here’s why. 1.

2010 58

Let the music begin

Viv Mcwaters

Thank goodness for those devices, I say. Now all I have to do is work out how to play said songs on demand in the middle of a workshop. Tweet This!

2013 34

The myth of the agenda

Viv Mcwaters

It goes like this: to have a productive meeting you must have a pre-prepared agenda and stick to it. That’s the secret of better meetings. Bollocks. An agenda is wallpaper – it covers the cracks in your meeting by pretending to provide structure and control. And certainty. When It’s just another example of a one-to-many process.

2011 36

Let the games begin

Viv Mcwaters

The Olympics are over for another four years. But it’s not those sort of games I’m referring to. Not sporty, competitive games. Tweet This!

Game 28

A games-free zone?

Viv Mcwaters

You get the picture. It’s hot. Bloody hot. Too hot for a workshop, that’s for sure. Seemed more appropriate for a kids’ party to me.

Game 21

The tyranny of the explicit

Viv Mcwaters

We probably all know someone who constantly plays the excuse card. In other meeting formats it might be okay to be passive. Share this on Facebook.

2011 28

Researching applied improv – a project for 2014

Viv Mcwaters

Even a cursory look at this blog will reveal my interest in improvisation. Most improv happens on the stage, in theatres and bars. Onward!

2014 21

What are the 3 big mistakes that Meeting Leaders make that keep them frustrated with drawn out meetings and a lack of enthusiasm?

Viv Mcwaters

Number One: They do all the work themselves. They don’t answer questions or contribute much, and if they do, it’s often to disagree with each other.

2013 21

Peeking from behind the mask

Viv Mcwaters

Two articles in today’s Melbourne Age newspaper stood out. This one and this one. “Tell the story – the more times you tell it, the better off you’ll be.” ” This was the advice given to   Brant Webb and Todd Russell , survivors of the Beaconsfield goldmine disaster. This is not a cure. Share this on Facebook.

2012 26

Connecting individuals in a large group meeting

Viv Mcwaters

This week I’m taking part in a global meeting of about 80 or so people and have about an hour to do some connecting activities. Good question.

Co-facilitating: how hard can it be?

Viv Mcwaters

Recently a client refused my choice of co-facilitator for budget reasons and offered one of his own staff (whom I had never met) to help out. declined.

The two not-so-secret secrets about Creative Facilitation

Viv Mcwaters

There’s no big secret to Creative Facilitation , it comes down to two things: using creative processes that allow people to really participate, and showing up as a facilitator that people feel able to trust. The hard part is letting go of all those practices that squeeze the life out of meetings. We Related posts: What is Creative facilitation?

What makes Facilitating With Confidence different?

Viv Mcwaters

After 13 days facilitation training with my mate Johnnie Moore I’m excited by what I’ve learnt. So what’s it like? Of course!

Still learning about facilitation

Viv Mcwaters

Here’s what I learnt about facilitating thanks to Melbourne Playback Theatre Group ‘s weekend workshop. You have to keep doing something long enough to notice what’s going on for you. Taking an activity beyond what might be considered reasonable can have enormous payoffs. Small moves are more interesting. The opposite is true.

Facilitating for engagement in isolated communities

Viv Mcwaters

There are ways to facilitate meetings and events of all sorts that encourage participation and engagement. Use everything. Don’t assume anything.

Why do groups need a facilitator?

Viv Mcwaters

If the job of a facilitator is to get out of the way, why have one in the first place? Because boundaries matter. Improvisers know about boundaries.

2013 21

7 conditions for a great facilitated workshop

Viv Mcwaters

Everyone loves a good list, so I’m led to believe. This post falls into the category of ‘notes to self’ – or possibly ‘advice to potential clients’ Here goes: 1. Have a clear purpose for meeting. Be clear about start and finish times and schedule long breaks. They don’t need a lot of extra detail. Do lots.

Action storming for tackling difficult people

Viv Mcwaters

The question comes up sooner or later: “How do you deal with difficult people?” We being moi, Johnnie Moore and Simo Routarinne ).

Break down to break through

Viv Mcwaters

The song uses call and response , one of my favourite musical devices. This is intriguing. This ‘breakdown’ seems to be a type of release.

Capturing the essence of improv

Viv Mcwaters

This is a fantastic summary of highlights and insights from AIN Downunder: Thriving In Uncertainty from April Seymore. Share this on Facebook.

There is *always* process

Viv Mcwaters

Exhibit 1 : Hours of back-to-back speakers, some using PowerPoint, some not. An audience seated in rows, able to ask questions during Q & A sessions at the end, sometimes during. On return, they sit in a circle and share with each other their thoughts and insights. They could easily sit on any number of continuums. What a load of contradictions!

2011 22

Using who and what’s in the room

Viv Mcwaters

This week I’m working with a group of people who have come together to learn some new skills. Skills they will be expected, by their employer, to use to design and implement a quite complicated, multi-layered, multi-day event. Participants have been given a comprehensive manual outlining all the steps and procedures. More to come. Learning

Is this sticky or what?

Viv Mcwaters

THIS is disruption at its best. If you can’t see the video in your browser, here’s the link. link]. Conferences Facilitation Improv

Video 21

Someone to rely on

Viv Mcwaters

It’s great to travel, to do interesting, challenging work, and sometimes, just sometimes it gets a bit lonely. General

Skype 21