Our first blog of 2017 bows to the wisdom of the Famous Five, shudders at terrible workshops past and offers an alternative that doesn’t involve re-birthing or abstract mime.
“As the hollow ping of yet another anodyne Outlook invitation to ‘get together and pool ideas’ echoed mockingly around the marketing ‘hub’ the only thing binding anyone was the unshakeable certainty that they were all doomed to yet another excruciating day of revealing (made-up) personal truths, pretending to be yucca plants and team-clapping any bonkers “breakthroughs” that would release them from the aptly named ‘break-out area’ the fastest.”
Having put behind us a 2016 in which the grim reaper appeared to have his ‘to-do’ list upside down we’re all for fresh starts here at Muse. And nothing wipes the slate cleaner of previous transgressions and poor practices than a workshop or an away day. But as the Enid Blyton title above jauntily observes there are away days and workshops that make a difference and those “that simply prevent everyone from getting on with their real work”.
Whilst “Five Go On A Strategy Away Day” gave us more than the odd chuckle between dips into the Cadburys Heroes over Christmas it is also genuinely instructive on a several levels.
Most telling of all is that the publishers clearly recognised that a sufficiently large number of us had been on enough disastrous away days to create a market for the book in the first place.
Secondly, the individual experiences they recount paint uncannily vivid pictures of workshops past for everyone we’ve shared it with. Who hasn’t felt their heart sink as they arrive at a badly chosen location – “ ‘I’d hate to know what the bloody Hotel Inferior looks like’ Julian observed as the cab pulled up outside the day’s venue.” And who hasn’t had to use every ounce of their self-restraint when told “Our enemy is the cliché. So I want you to think outside the box, and give it a hundred and ten percent. By the end of the day we’ll have formed a holistic approach that should really be a paradigm shift for you all moving forward.” Or indeed shuddered at the invitation to imagine that “you are a whale, part of the cycle of life, cresting the waves…you feel it’s memories of the sea. And now you are the sea…”
But more seriously it acts as a timely reminder that lots of away days and workshops are poor.
At Muse we simply try and make sure that our workshops are better than the rest. It’s not rocket science. We believe that they should always be excellent and that the surest way to achieve that is through preparation and professionalism.
For instance our invitations, pre-work and joining instructions are professionally produced. We select creative venues and theme events to the subject. We use a variety of stimulus and methods to generate, develop and evaluate ideas. And you can be reassured that we won’t use silly techniques that make people feel uncomfortable. Everything we do is relevant and practical, with clear actions, timings and responsibilities agreed at the end.
We design each event in collaboration with our clients to ensure that it meets their specific needs. So if you’re planning a workshop let us know – we won’t promise you a whale of a time but we do guarantee that it will be a success.
You can find out more about our workshops HERE or call James on 07771 975610.