Like much of the world, the Caribbean was hit hard by the pandemic. In an effort to help people recover, the Guardian Group convened a multi-day workshop, focused on happiness, wellness, and innovation. Participants came from a range of professions from all around the region and were able to join from the comfort of their homes at no cost.
We facilitated the innovation component of the workshop, which highlighted the radical accessibility of what we like to call ‘Innovation-ish.’ The focus was to teach innovative mindsets, moves, and tools that the participants could easily do in their everyday lives. At its core, our objective was to yield a mindset shift and change in perspective — we wanted participants to see the innovative skills that already exist inside of each of them.
How We Did It
Each person came to the workshop with a business challenge they wanted to work on. The objective was to help them reframe their internal views and bias of what it meant to be innovative, while eliminating any barriers to approaching their challenge in an innovative way.
We introduced the participants to Innovation-ish with a series of questions. What they didn’t realize is that the answers they gave were actually helping them generate their own next steps and actions, an approach we call ‘explore before explain.’ Only after they had already (unknowingly) been Innovation-ish did we define the term for them. Throughout the workshop, participants continued to come up with their own innovative moves (and we may also have given them a few, too).
With over 100 participants, we needed to ensure that everyone was engaged and effectively learning. That’s why we brought in our interactive prowess. We chose two live demonstrators to walk us through a challenge and model their thinking as we introduced the group to mindsets and moves. Meanwhile, online participants simultaneously followed along at home. We also provided live coaching, offering feedback as the participants went.
We didn’t just teach innovation-ish and send the participants out into the wild. They worked with us to apply the tools they learned, and at the end, each of them had some new ideas to help change their businesses. Each one also walked away with a number of guiding documents, a living resource that would set them up for success beyond the limited timeframe of the workshop itself.
Despite the online nature of the workshop, the participants were struck by how interactive and personal it was. They left with a sense of having created a real learning community, and in the process, had a transformative experience, developing the confidence and agency they needed to innovate.
At over 70 years you have helped me into a new mindset. Now I can start advertising my new business with the confidence I did not have before.