Monthly Archives: October 2008

Playing with learning and development

The “climate” is a bit grey in more areas than just the weather, so what better way to brighten your development program, than be a bit playful.  On a frivolous Friday, here are four games to make learning and development more fun. Try one out and see what “magic” happens.  You may have to sprinkle a little “magic fairy dust” to set the mood and cajole your participants to believe its OK to play.

Magic wand – give everyone a magic wand (easy to source from a children’s party shop), then go round the room and have each person describe what they would change in the team / organisation if they had a magic wand. You can follow this up with the Solution Focus miracle question to create even more discussion about how they would know.

Dress ups – provide mixed media materials – paper, cloth, plastic and ribbon – and ask each person to make a costume that represents their favourite hero or heroine.  Dress up, then go round the room and discuss the qualities of the hero / heroine and which of those qualities they do demonstrate / would like to  demonstrate more of.  For large groups, split into smaller groups first for making costumes and discussions.

Sparkling moments – (thanks to Svea van der Hoorn and Brief UK for this) organise the room into pairs and have each pair nominate a interviewer and a “personality”.  The interviewer asks the personality about sparkling moments from their work history when they have demonstrated excellent leadership and draws out the who, when, why, what and where of the story, especially the mental, emotional resources the person had access to.

The rules of the playground – provide a number of images of playgrounds or sporting grounds.  Work in small groups to share their examples of the rules of the playground when they were young.  Then groups draw a metaphorical playground for their company / division / team and list their understanding of the “unwritten” rules of the playground.

If you would like a copy of instructions for the Solutions Focused activities mentioned, send an email to  sharon at

We’re in this together

A retailer in our local area went into administration recently after three decades in business. The comments in the local paper indicated that if people had known the retailer was in trouble, they would have made more of an effort to go there instead of heading to a “big name” retailer for the latest bargain.

I think we are going to find more of this over the next few months and trust we can support each other, by reaching out to check that our friends and colleagues and local businesses are OK.  I am paying particular attention to some of my regular haunts who are offering lots of specials, in an effort to drive business into the store.  I’m making a special effort to ignore the few extra cents I pay and make sure I patronise those who seem to be running a good local business.

I’m also noticing an increase in letters for donations and even though I cringe a bit at the sight of them, I know that I can afford to give to everyone who asks, so the answer is always “yes”.  It saves time and thinking when I already know the answer and reminds me how fortunate I am that I can always give to someone in need.