Creative tools to address complex problems and challenges
Welcome to Mindset, a confidential service from Contented helping you address complex problems and challenges at work.
This simple but powerful process combines peer-coaching in a modern ‘open innovation’ approach, with the established business practice of action learning, tried and tested for more than 70 years.
Mindsets are an important tool in all Contented’s learning and development programmes, permitting groups to get together online between workshops. In our Innovator’s Way programme, we reflect on each chapter of the Hero’s Journey to facilitate transformation, using digital devices to capture insights and communicate them as engaging stories.
Our facilitator development programme teaches you to use this practice with your colleagues to address seemingly intractable problems and make meetings more productive. Mindsets are available as physical workshops inside or outside your business premises or event. They work well as online forums to prepare and follow-up dispersed groups attending trade shows, missions and study tours.
We recognise that personal issues often impact work, so we encourage delegates to talk about these too. Because of the confidential nature of discussions, we carefully manage participation in Mindset.
Interested in other learning modules of Contented, endorsed by international certification organisations? Take a look at our suite of communications modules designed to support you in generating, capturing and promoting your insights.
Participating in a Mindset enhances your personal and professional life. And you can facilitate your own group for your customers as an added value to them or a revenue stream for you. The practice is popular with people creating success because it offers the chance to brainstorm with peers, solve problems, generate creative ideas, design strong action plans, and be held to account for promises you make to yourself.
Participants drive each other to grow themselves and their businesses by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. Each person acts as a catalyst for growth, a devil’s advocate and a supportive colleague. The agenda belongs to the group, and each person’s participation is key.
The standard Mindset runs for about 3.5 hours, with a short break to make any important call (phone or otherwise!) On the open tasters, we consider carefully about how we group people — it helps if people share a common context or challenge, so the more we get to know you, the better the fit. Group sizes are typically four to eight people. Where we work with larger groups, we break out into smaller sessions (online, they have their own private ‘rooms’) and then feed back to the wider group.
Below, you’ll find a form to request a place — please add as much information as you can so that we can match you with other participants. Once you’ve completed the fields marked with an asterisk [*], you’ll be able to submit the form. We’ll write back to you with some options. You can also contact us by email for more information or to book a closed session for your organisation.
After the form, you’ll find more information about the learning processes we use.
- Discover solutions and ideas through brainstorming with the group
- Tap into the experience and skills of others, including the facilitator
- Gain confidence that you are making the right decisions and taking the right actions to achieve your goals
- Create accountability and real progress in your business and personal life
- Access instantly a valuable support network
- A sense of shared endeavour; that there are others out there!
- Design things to be the way you want them to be, not as you’ve been told they should be
- Boost your everyday positive mental attitude
Mindset is based on business processes known as action learning and so-called ‘mastermind’ groups. The principle of the mastermind group was introduced by author Napoleon Hill in the early 1900s, in his classic bestseller Think And Grow Rich. He described it as “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
He observed: “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”
The academic roots of Mindset are in action learning.
Action learning is an approach to solving real-life problems, where people come together periodically to learn from their experiences. The magic ingredient is, essentially, posing questions. As head of education at the UK’s National Coal Board, Professor Reg Revans developed this technique, working alongside economist Ernst Schumacher, pioneer of sustainability thinking, and author of Small is Beautiful. Professor Revans worked with five Nobel prize winners, including Albert Einstein. Today, action learning is a popular real-time strategy for developing leaders, building teams and transforming organisations.
Revans described action learning as taking action and reflecting upon the results. “This helps improve the problem-solving process as well as simplify the solutions developed by the team,” he asserted. “There can be no learning without action and no action without learning.”
Revans’ crucial insight was that complex problems and challenges are best resolved by the people facing or experiencing them, rather than by external ‘experts’. Improving organisations and communities can be daunting. By working collaboratively, we can resolve our difficulties and invent our own futures.
Key outcomes of Action learning are:
- Ability to address complex challenges
- Increased ability to accomplish strategic change
- Improved cross-functional teamwork
- More strategic and focused leadership
Action learning is a powerful approach and discipline for personal and business development. It works best when participants:
- have a pressing issue to work on that they don’t already know how to address;
- attend regularly and want to be present;
- are willing to share openly and voice the real issues;
- keep confidential what is said inside the meetings;
- refrain from showing off and offering advice at every opportunity;
- spend time between meetings to take action and record results and reflections.
1. Describe your problem, opportunity or issue in one sentence:
2. Why is this important? To you? To your organisation?
3. How will you recognise progress on this problem, opportunity or issue?
4. Who else would like to see progress on this problem?
5. How do you intend to go about tackling this problem, opportunity or issue? What are your first steps? What difficulties do you anticipate?
7. What are the benefits if this problem is reduced or resolved? For you? For your organisation?