Frontal Lobes and Opposable Thumbs

Andrew Tilling gives a quick fire ‘Pecha Kucha’ (20 slides x 20 seconds) presentation on what separates us from our closest relatives, and how we can use those insights to get the best out of ourselves and others.
Andrew’s messages on understanding stakeholders comes from the Preseli methodology, The STORM Process

How to identify a target market

Two sentences I hear more than any other when working with innovators.

“There are no competitors for my idea”

and

“It’s suitable for everybody”

This is the point the klaxon sounds in my workshops, the lights flash red and I bring all discussions to a halt. Watch this 3 min video to find out how to solve this issue.

 

 

 

Everything is possible

Solutions abound. Opportunities are a dime a dozen, you can usually find several down the back of the sofa. Dreams and ideas dance around us like shining butterflies, or shoals of fish.

And then we say to ourselves, sometimes before we’ve even really noticed the idea, “It’s not possible.” Everything stops, creativity grinds to a halt, normal life is resumed.

If we don’t believe that anything is possible, then we can’t look at things in any other way than as problems, obstacles in our way or mountains to be climbed. At best we see them as a nice fantasy to while the time away, or as the idea that we will definitely implement tomorrow just before we slide into sleep.

However, when we know that anything is possible our outlook changes. Our creativity increases, our interest and enthusiasm rise. We begin to see that change can happen, that we can do the things we want. It doesn’t matter what that is: start a new business, move to a new country, grow tomatoes. When we know that anything is possible, suddenly everything becomes possible.

Possible is not the same as probable or even reasonable. Possible is knowing that it could happen. It allows our minds to take flight.
Possible allows us to dream, plan, solve, invent without being bothered by how likely something is to happen.

We will have to ground all this in reality sooner or later, but without cultivating the attitude that anything is possible, we will be stuck trying to improve what we have. And that is no way to solve a problem, change a situation or invent a new way to do things. If it was, we wouldn’t be stuck.

Try it out. The next time someone offers a solution that your initial response to is, “That won’t work. ” Ask yourself what would happen if it did.

Follow Russell on Twitter @RussellTongue

How to engage your audience in a pitch or presentation

 

 

 

 

Five minutes of valuable insight from our Wow Factory Training workshop. Discover how understanding values can have powerful effect on the outcome of your presentation or pitch.

This training is part of a workshop day we deliver to prepare new innovators to pitch to investors and determined teams to pitch to their boss.

Learn more about the Wow Factory Training in your organisation

Problem Solving in Ten Minutes

Need to solve some problems quick? This will help you get in the frame of mind most useful for problem solving.
We’ve been getting great feedback from our Beta test of our online e-learning platform, Eli – or E-Learning Interactive

Alan Whitlock
it defined what I have been doing very well and it has helped me understand some issues I had with my company

Check out the 10 minute video collection below, for a few snippits of what’s coming up from our course.

Standing out from the competition

I received this tweet over the weekend:

@QRDSbiz: @andrewtilling Was great listening to you, Is there any tips you could provide so we can be unique to the competition?

@QRDSbiz are about to give a pitch to IBM. On the basis of five minutes a decision will be made as to whether this team will be working with an iconic organisation to get their ideas off the ground. What makes this opportunity all the more special is that these guys are not working from the Silicon Roundabout in London, this is a student team from Solihull college.
Solihull college’s entrepreneurship team are an impressive bunch. Sandy Chander, our FE specialist, and I went up to deliver a pitching and presentations workshop we call ‘The WOW Factory’ as part of our @StepUp4Skills program for further education. What impressed me is just how entrepreneurial the staff were to get these kind of opportunities available to their students. With budgets ‘reshaping’ and priorities shifting, it’s a challenge to get limited resources lined up in such a way as to inspire and engage the college, the external partners, the students, the guest trainers (yours truly) and any long suffering family members as you work late – again. Yet here we all were, creating an extraordinary opportunity for some young people to step up and turn an idea into reality.
So how do you not blow it? How can you be “unique to the competition?”
The answer is frustratingly simple. Be yourselves.
The competition can never be you as well as you can. Your passion and drive is unique to you. Your team’s shared vision is moving forward because of your team’s greatest asset: what happens when you all work together well. It’s why you are working together in the first place. It’s why you turned up. This makes you stand out. That ‘Why’ is precious, and like any asset, needs to be harnessed to maximise your return. Sure, your Y might not work with their X, and you might not get the chance to make something fantastic together. But at least you know that things were not compatible now, before failure becomes expensive later down the line. Gain feedback. Go tweak. Find other people with the ‘x’ you need. But it’s the why that gives your idea the wow factor. That’s why we call the workshop the Wow Factor’Y’.

Hard skills or soft skills?

How do you go about getting the right skills in the right team?

The solution can be to ask people to choose which project they want to work on.
Look for ways to get people enthusiastic about their job, find out what really interests them, find out what they really want to do and give them as much of that to do as you possibly can.

Their hard, or technical, skills are important obviously, it’s no good hiring a salesperson who can’t close, or a developer who can’t code.
But if you hire someone or (even worse) partner with someone who can’t or won’t work as a team member, the payoff in terms of their skills had better be huge, because they will definitely drag the project in unexpected directions.

What people can do is often not nearly as important as we think it is. How they do what they do is what really adds value to a team.

@russelltongue
@preseliinfo

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Golden Questions for Networking

As part of the Enterprise Summer School run by the University of Surrey and the University for Creative Arts at Farnham castle, Preseli
delivered a workshop on the ‘Secrets of Networking’.

Andrew Tilling led the workshop, focusing on developing the skills you need to communicate a sense of purpose with the people you meet in a
networking environment.

The group came up with the following ‘golden questions’ you can ask the next time you have the opportunity to connect with new people. You
could be talking to one of the people who will help you achieve a real impact, but you won’t know unless you ask…




How did you take the first steps in business?
How can I best represent your company to my network?
What would be an ideal customer for you?
What’s your biggest challenge now, and can I help?
What are you currently working on?
What inspires you to do what you do?
What are you passionate about?
What are your business values?
What makes you happy?
What is your ambition?
What motivated you to start your own business?
What can I give you that will help you be the best you can be?
What makes you different from other people?
How have your interests inspired your enterprise ideas? How could they
in the future?
What would you most like your ‘take home’ message from me to be?
How could we work together?
What is the one word that inspires you?
Is your company interested in helping local communities?
Are you in business for the money or the love of what you do?
Have your personal values changed in accordance with your business values?
How could I reduce unemployment in your community?
Who inspires you?
What do other people say about your business?
What obstacles are you facing right now?
How are you overcoming your obstacles?
What is your personal ambition?

If you want results, rethink rewards

Innovation requires a different approach to rewarding it’s innovators if it wants to achieve results. In this video from RSA you can hear David Cameron’s brain churning this research while formulating his Big Society idea. What will be surprising to some is that he may actually be on to something scientifically sound.

The surprising truth about what motivates us

Government Taking Risks on CO2 Target

Laying Down The Law

The Government has a problem. Nothing new there then. But the problem that is currently in the news is the UK Fourth Carbon Budget. This essentially sets a further legal target of a 50% cut in emissions by 2027, which will sit alongside the targets that are already in place.
Even though there is little appetite amongst many of the electorate and business sectors for such a move, the necessity of reducing emissions remains clear.
As this Editorial from The Guardian puts it
“Politically, climate change is no longer the most pressing of issues in Britain. Scientifically, it still is.”

Opportunity

Some business are supporting this, others are attacking it. Many are pointing to the challenges and shouting about costs and loss of competitiveness, but there are a few who are seeing an opportunity.

The opportunity is for innovation.

It is an opportunity that catches our attention at Preseli. Our work with helping people come up with ethical and sustainable products and services, like the Creative Challenge at UCA for instance, has left us with a sense of awe of what we can come up with when we work together, and of what the up and coming generation intend to achieve. Any one person really has very little idea of what we are capable of when we work together effectively. We help people to develop that effectiveness.

An Impossible Task Ahead?

When you first take a look at how to de-carbonise a business or an entire economy it looks impossible.
Too hard, too complex, too expensive, too impractical. Impossible.
But that kind of thinking doesn’t make any difference at all. CO2 remains CO2, the physics hasn’t shifted one bit and the probable effects look as grave today as they did yesterday. Harping on about how reducing CO2 is going to cost money is not going to help anyone, it keeps the mind from finding solutions, from seeing opportunity.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
- Albert Einstein

We need to recognise that in fact that it is not a 50% reduction that is the problem, the problem lies in thinking that where we currently are is sustainable, appropriate and desirable for us and those likely to be affected by our actions, or by our complacency. Inconveniently, when facing a world wide problem, we risk affecting every living thing on the planet. That’s a lot of stakeholders to consider. But consider them we must if we are to get the chain of eureka moments necessary to sort this mess out.

Nobody wants climate change, but pretending that things have not fundamentally shifted by hand waving and pleading for special dispensation, puts you behind in the game. This is not an issue that is going to go away, and yet we still have had a collective unwillingness to deal with it.

A Risky Business

So while the Governments actions are a step in the right direction, what remains to be seen is a real and demonstrable commitment to providing the necessary conditions that will most likely give rise to the innovations we need to see throughout the economy. Banking on a spirit of Big Society volunteerism is simply not enough. Too many great ideas are lost in the battle through barriers to market imposed by the status quo. Ethical innovators will need heavy weight support behind them to bring their ideas into reality to a level where they can have a positive impact.  For the Government’s problem to go away it will require more than legal requirements. It will require an investment of time, money and political will to allow new ideas to flourish. The stakes are high and that investment comes with risk, but in creativity risk is a good thing. If we invest we either win or lose. If we don’t invest, we have already lost.

If you or your organisation wants to help shape the outcomes we all need more effectively, through innovation, culture change or solution-finding tools and workshops, get in touch with Preseli and find out how together we can make the difference.

Russell Tongue