Involutionary Brainstorming

What is it? Brainstorming is the rapid pooling of all and any ideas that a group of people can come up with before any discussion or judgement takes place. Every idea is recorded no matter how bizarre or irrational. Enable individuals and groups to: · Problem Solve · Evaluate How to Brainstorm 1.      Keep a…

Community is Naturally Obvious and Obviously Natural

We tend to over-complicate Life. Yet the core of any community is a circle. We need only sit together in a circle and open some space for conversation and collaboration with minimal fuss. Often we go into phone, text and email overload when all that is needed is to meet at the same time in…

What is conversation really about?

So much of our conversation is about what we advocate to each other. We speak, they speak. Our turn to say something, their turn to say something. It is usually transactional. Like a game of tennis, we take turns. Often someone wins the point. Sometimes the rallies are long and we tire ourselves out! Our…

Dance of Breathing 2 – a pure improvisation activity

Purpose of the Activity  This is a standalone activity but can be linked to Dance of Breathing 1. This breathing improvisation explores the effect others have on us, particularly exploring closeness and vicinity.It also can be used to explore status, difference and diversity, as well as the simplicity of play. Process Work in pairs. The…

The Golden Value of Confusion

Confusion can be a wonderful thing. It is a state of mind that most people don’t enjoy, and certainly don’t want to stay in for very long. Confusion can paralyse us from action. We can get lost in it, slowed down by it, depressed by it. Yet it is also possible to be excited by…

An exercise in falling into impro

Purpose of the activity Many facilitators of improvisation work with the metaphors of “energising” a group or “ice-breaking” early on at a workshop. A friend of mine, Jack Martin Leith critique ice-breakers because they assume there is “ice” – people in a default state of coldness, stuckness, and that they need “un-freezing”. I agree with…

The Voice of the Lord

As the train pulled out of the station, Father Peter found himself a compartment alone with a window seat. Like a child, with nose squashed against the window pane, he gazed out and soon the landmarks were less familiar; he knew he was on his way. He ventured out of town so rarely these days,…

Does, Doesn’t

A short story You could tell by the length of the bags under his eyes that this was a creature who had not slept overmuch. You could tell by the colour of his beard that he was beyond his three score and ten. Not to mention the length. You could tell by the dishevelled clothes –…

Ego and the Small Business

Here’s a paradox: It is ego that often launches a successful new business, realising the vision of a single individual or small group and turning into an energetic, fast growth enterprise. It is also ego that can kill off a struggling business, stopping it from changing, recovering and redefining itself. Without the strong will, focus…

My Own Definition of Conscious Business

  “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”  Carl Jung This is very much a work in  progress – an emerging set of notes. I’m going to define Conscious Business in a way that is different to  most in this field. Consciousness arises from suffering. Now, bear with me for a moment on that…

What Makes a Conscious Business Culture?

By Paul Levy and Jamie Pyper  Here we go again …. Culture! We’ve come a long way since culture was described as “the way we do things around here.” That simple definition underpins what writers such as Charles Handy said way back in the ’80s: “in organisations there are deep-set beliefs about the way work…

A Team Charter

Groups can work more of less effectively together. When groups are formed to achieve something together over time, how well they work together will determine a more or less successful outcome. A work project An academic project Creating a product in a team Solving  a problem together It can be useful to develop and and sign…

Mission-driven businesses – a first look

The emergence of mission-led businesses What is the mission of your business ? The word “mission” is a buzz word that has been around for decades in relation to the business world. Can a business really have a mission? The UK government is getting interested in “Mission-led businesses, stating “new businesses are emerging that seek…

The Graveyard Activity

Overview of the activity This is a powerful activity that can be used to explore career, personal development and biography. It takes many people into a zone of discomfort, a topic that they may not want to explore, so should be taken with this activity. We should be sensitive in choosing it and also throughout…

Dance of Breathing 1 – a pure improvisation activity

Purpose of the Activity In this activity we focus on the very basic/even primal aspect of breathing, and begin to relate it to being “present”, to “presence” and to improvisation. It’s an activity to be done individually, can also be done alone, and I recommend plenty of time for detailed after-activity reflection and discussion. The…

Crystal Ball – an exercise in present and future improvisation

Purpose of the activity This is a lovely game for exploring the role of “visioning” and “futuring” in improvisation. When is knowing or deciding the future a help or a hindrance? Process Start with a group of five, with everyone else watching. Decide a scene to be played out. For example, a picnic. Choose someone…

Exploring Resonance – An Activity

Overview This activity explores the notion of resonance in improvisation. It is a very helpful activity for doing physical theatre work that is based around inter-personal dynamics. In an applied setting it can explore agreement/disagreement and the notion of affinity in vision and values and also in terms of decision making and leadership. It’s a…

Finding Our Connection – A Simple Applied Improvisation Activity

Overview This is a very simple and powerful activity for people who don’t think they know each other. You might have played a version of it before, though not in this exact context. It’s really just a conversation exercise and can work well in small groups, but also with a group working the activity in…

Fingertip Connection – an activity

Purpose of the Activity This is a rather unique exercise taking applied improvisation to the borderland between face to face and text-based communication Process   Work in threes (one to observe – you can swap around) Sit face to face. Required: each participant has a mobile phone with plenty of credit for texting. Set up…

The Breath Improvisation

Purpose of the Activity This is another strange and wonderfully minimalist exercise. Minimalist improvisation really can create a non-verbal experience of improvisation in its most essential form. This is an example of a minimalist improvisation activity that can be enacted at almost any stage of an improvisation workshop or event. It is also very good…

A neat little breathing exercise

Purpose of the Activity Sharing breathing is a foundation of all communication. This exercise is a great prep game for singing and generally for improvisation work. It is also good in conflict and communication resolution activities, as well as group and community building. This is another fairly minimalist activity whose power lies in simplicity. Breathing…

New iPad? Tech firms have abandoned radical innovation for mediocrity

                  Paul Levy, University of Brighton The dust has now settled on the latest product launch from Apple, which for many trumped headlines about refugees, poverty and the battles for the Republican nomination and leadership of the UK Labour Party. We have new iPads, iPhones and more….

Five Examples of Conversifying in Action

Conversifying a Conference At the 2014 Management of Innovative Technologies Conference in Piran, Slovenia, we loosened a traditionally fixed agenda and created spaces for emergent conversation and unplanned workshops and sessions. Potential research projects and partnerships emerged that would never have come about had the opportunity for conversation not been created. We also used one…

What is Conversifying?

Conversifying breathes conversation into a meeting, conference, gathering or event. When we conversify an event, we increase the level and quality of interaction, adding energy to the dialogue. We ensure that any communication serves the purpose of all who are taking part. We look to simplify the over-complicated and be create with clunky, over-fixed meeting…

The Conversify Gallery

From this… To this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… And this… Oh, and this… Visit the main Conversity page

The Real role of the Flip Chart in Unonferences and Workshops

Flip charts are powerful workshop tools. They don’t work well in a large room with a large group if they are being used by a presenter to present information to an audience. Just a few rows of seats back and people will struggle to see and read what is on them. I’ve sat in many…