Monthly Archives: October 2009

An Exclusive Web Workshop with Susan Scott, best-selling author of Fierce Leadership

We were thrilled when Susan Scott happily agreed to facilitate a web workshop for our learning community. In this one-hour workshop, Susan shares the key ideas from her latest book, Fierce Leadership, including the 6 Worst Best Practices.

In the 4MAT model, there are four roles that a trainer plays when delivering a learning experience: facilitator, presenter, coach and evaluator. Fierce Conversations offers strategies for building skill as a facilitator, coach and evaluator. Each of these roles require the ability to see what’s underneath the surface and call it like it is. Watch the Fierce Leadership, featuring Best-selling Author Susan Scott video.

An Exclusive Web Workshop with Bruce Tulgan, best-selling author of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy

Almost every time I am in dialogue with a group of trainers on learning styles, someone will ask about leading the younger generation. We invited Generation expert, Bruce Tulgan, author of 17 books on what makes the New Generation tick, to share the greatest myths surrounding Gen X and Gen Y. As a trainer, there is much to be learned from Bruce’s research on what must be present to optimize engagement of this group of learners: Watch the Bruce Tulgan: Not Everyone Gets a Trophy video.

4MAT Design Studio Opens

“Build it and they will come.” We love that line from the movie, Field of Dreams. We hosted our first 4MAT train the trainer workshop in our new offices. We didn’t actually build the building, but we had some very cool design thinkers show up. Our 4MAT design studio is in the original train depot of Covington, La. We like to think that many exciting journeys began from this very spot.

Stay tuned for the complete train the trainer program listings in the 4MAT calendar.

4MAT: Divergent or Convergent Thinking?

“To have a good idea, you must first have lots of ideas.” –Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes

The 4MAT Learning Type Measure® assesses many dimensions of learning including our preference for divergent versus convergent thinking. What does this mean? Divergent thinking is focused on creating many options. Convergent thinking is focused on choosing one of the existing options. This difference in thinking style becomes readily observed in meeting spaces in Any Business. The divergent thinkers want to brainstorm, explore new ground and play “What if?” The convergent thinkers want to analyze the existing options, think through what will work in our current model and choose the viable option. Tension exists between these two ways of processing.

It is important to notice when you switch from one to the other. A too-early switch to convergent thinking could have you miss the big idea that might create a monumental versus incremental learning leap. A delayed movement to convergent thinking can have you miss the delivery date.

4MAT for Design

Last summer, my husband purchased a Coaster bike. It’s a cool throwback to the bikes we had as kids-back-pedal brake, wide handlebars and a wide seat. I didn’t think much about our Coaster until I read Tim Brown’s book, Change By Design.

Tim is CEO/President of IDEO, an innovation design company that created the Coaster bike. IDEO leads the pack in the science of design thinking. What can training designers learn from the Coaster? In Change by Design, Tim describes the process of innovation that led to the Coaster capturing a new market-the 90% of adults who no longer ride bikes. Tim described the innovation process used to create the Coaster. Here’s what it looks like through the lens of 4MAT:

Why do adults no longer ride? We all have fond memories of tooling around the neighborhood on our Schwinn, so why do 90% of adults no longer ride? Tapping into this uncovers the true need.

What new category of bicycling might capture the imagination of the consumer? IDEO identified a need for a bike built for pleasure not sport. What does this look like? Big handlebars, no cables, comfy seat and little to no maintenance.

How? The how moved beyond how to manufacture the bike to how to tell the story of the Coaster. Development of a brand that defined coasting, in-store retailing and collaboration with local civic associations were all part of this process.

If? The process began here. What if a bike manufacturer moved from struggling to slice off a fraction of a percent of the existing market and instead expanded the market? What would this look like? New possibilities emerged and the performance metric was defined-capturing the 90%.

The 4MAT Design process applies to innovation at all levels—from the innovation stage to the implementation stage. Creating a culture of innovation and performance begins with the language of design.

innovation wheel