Archive for November, 2010

An Informal Learning Wow Experience – group process tools for group learning

November 29, 2010

I need to share a wow experience I recently had in informal learning – or was it even social learning ?
Since many years I am connected to Ian Shaw and I got to know Ian during my time at Nestlé. Ian is a great visionary
and inspiring professional leader in L&D.
Just recently he send out an email to his network about a wonderful free collection of 80 group process tools and ideas that help people work well together. It was written by Dr. Susan Marry and Annette Zera and is available as a free download without registration on
Reading through it I found some excellent group tools that I would use in group learning interventions such as:
1) Who rode the elephant – a good way to learn about the expertise of your colleagues – page 28: Would be helpful in setting a group learning event where expert knowledge sharing amongst participant is key
2) The three minute date – a good way to start idea sharing – page 35: Useful to stimulate innovative thinking and finding new options – exellent tool also for an explorative learning intervention where solutions to a problem are identified by the group.
3) Fish Bowl – powerful way to listen to stakeholders – page 46: A way to have a learning in a large group setting on a specific topic with two different perspective for example.
4) Mind Maps – building the picture of the interconnections related to the topic – page 49: A wonderful way to get a complete oversight of what the learnings are and how they relate to the topic
5) Brainstorming – page 68: always good to revisited this well-known tool before applying it again
6) Edward de Bono’s six hats – Looking at life from different perspectives –page 71: a great tool to work on innovative ideas from different perspectives
7) Solving other people’s problems – page 72: involving expert to come up with solution for own identified problems. A good way to get groups stuck on own problem solving to step outside comfort zone and deal with another group’s problem. It is a type of group or peer coaching exercise.
8) Making a commitment – page 95: a good way to get participants to commit to do follow up on their development actions decided during the interventions.
and large group interventions:
9) Open Space- self managed conference –page 121: needs a very good moderator and offers the participants to drive the topics they are interested in to share with others and get input. Helpful in Best-Practice-Sharing sessions and finding new ways forward
10) Appreciative Inquiry – page 122: learning about what works in your organisation, what you can learn from and improve further.
11) Future Search- to solve whole systems problems – page 125: works best when the diverse stakeholders of your system (organisation) are present
12) Knowledge Café – page 127: A good process for large groups to share information and insights on topics of mutual interest.
If you have any further suggestions please share within the comment section of this post. Thank you.

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