The persuasive power of meeting an actual person

This little piece of genius, from a Swiss canton, shows that meeting a real person can be a most persuasive kind of persuasion.

The human brain becomes awake and present when we meet a real person, in ways that impersonal media can never achieve.

So how can we arrange for our audiences to interact with real faces? There must be scores of ways we could emulate the underlying idea. Who wants to give it a go?

Love Makes a Way

The Love Makes a Way movement caused 3,500 older Australians to travel to their MPs offices, and stay and pray until they got arrested or expelled, in the name of releasing refugee children from detention. This is an inspiring Christian movement based on civil disobedience.

We always say that actions should be designed to be easy. But this story made me realise it’s not always true. Onerous actions have a place – especially where causes are strongly motivating and we come together in groups. So maybe Love Makes a Way illustrates how the hardness of the action can be equal to the actors’ passions. Where people care strongly, the ask can be hard.

What’s a ‘design lab’?

Design is the hot thing (designing projects, solutions to social problems, services) for good reason – it’s a really useful approach to change work. We’ve all heard of a ‘design lab’. But what is that? Here’s a slideshow that comprehensively describes what the UK Government’s Policy Lab does (they innovate programs and services). Including the tools they use. This is an excellent overview.

They’ve also provided an open policy tool kit which is full of useful processes. Including what to do in a one day workshop – this is really great model and something that’s easy to adopt.

Effective brainstorms – it’s all in the wording

Here’s the best video I’ve seen on what a design workshop looks like. Notice the finessing of conventional workshop: the precise wording of the instructions matter.

For a word-for-word script for effective workshopping, this post might be useful. There is a lot to keep in mind, so a script can help.

I can’t emphasis the importance of instructing participants to be ‘concrete, specific, and refer things we can see and touch’. Don’t say ‘educate’, instead say ‘set up a billboard outside the IGA’. (Ah-hah, now I know what you mean!)

Fluffy ideas are useless because project managers can’t act on ideas they can’t see in their mind’s eye. True, those ideas will die in the prioritisation phase anyway…but I hate to think of great ideas dying just because of the abstract language used to describe them.

Term of the month: “high serendipity”

(Adj.) Refers to environments where there’s a high chance of a happy or beneficial accidental encounter. Can we design high serendipity experiences for ourselves and others? This term doesn’t pop up in Google, which means I just invented  it.  I know it’s gotta be useful.

A fantastic health promotion job in northern rivers NSW

My friend Jillian Adams, the health promotion manager of Northern NSW Local Health District, has a fab job going for a health promotion communicator.

Upcoming CHANGEOLOGY and FACILITATION SKILLS workshops, Sydney and Melbourne

The workshops are on again in October. This time Changeology is looking more and more like a hybrid design workshop and a creativity camp. There’s still a grounding social psychology and step-by-step process, but the more I deliver it, the more I find I’m emphasising processes which push the imaginations of project designers into seekingly wacky places. As Albert Camus said: “All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.”

Changeology method hothouse
The 2-day master class in making change happen

Get the ideas, inspirations, processes and tools to devise projects that change the world. Full details.
Melbourne 17-18 October | Sydney 25-26 October
Book a place: Sydney or Melbourne.

Facilitate with Confidence
Facilitate any gathering with skill and authority

Lay a solid foundation for your role as a facilitator of meetings and workshops in any context. Full details.
Melbourne 19 October | Sydney 27 October
Book a place: Sydney or Melbourne.