Bob Lieberman's Blog

Commentary and Tools For Empowering Change


Identifying Qualitative Measurements
Influencing Organizations And Systems
Five Leadership Skills For The Creative Economy
Cultivating Creative Leadership
Productive Thinking Facilitation

Identifying Qualitative Measurements

Fundamentally new business practices, whether aimed at sustainability, profitability, or simply viability, involve organizational change. Their introduction demands creative leadership and creative action. Change is a developmental process whose early progress tends to be qualitative and, therefore, invisible to the quantitative measures most companies rely on for accountability. In the face of that challenge, change agents may struggle to maintain support for their efforts.

In this half-day workshop, we will use a specific creative process model to develop effective strategies for assessing qualitative progress in your change initiative. The examples and activities will be tailored to your specific area of interest. You will leave with a strategic plan of your own making, a support group of fellow participants, and a three-month commitment from the instructor for hands-on coaching.

But this is not just a problem-solving workshop! As you develop your strategic plan, you will also be learning how to use a new model of the creative process to see your other leadership challenges differently. The Reciprocal Model has been distilled from years of experience integrating the best practices of business, conflict resolution, and the performing arts. It is a unique way of framing work's challenges and opportunities that you'll be able to use throughout your career.

Contact us today to bring this workshop to your organization!

Influencing Organizations And Systems
A Boot Camp For Aspiring Change Agents

This interactive, face-to-face, multimedia training is a must for anyone interested in effecting positive change in organizations or systems, regardless of their formal leadership role or perceived influence.

Participants will learn how to discover and use unseen opportunities for influencing change in the organizations and systems of which they're a part. Classwork includes presentation of concepts, movies and music, group activities, role-modeling, and hands-on practice with real-life situations from participants' work environments. Content is based on the Four Frames model of organizational behavior (Bolman & Deal) and the Reciprocal Model of creative work (Lieberman).

Course content and teaching methods have been proven in workshops and trainings of various lengths, including an eighteen-hour organizational development certificate course at Portland State University.

Our recommended format is 18 hours of training delivered in weekly 3-hour sessions. Weekly delivery permits participants to bring back to the learning environment the fruits of their real world experimentation. However, to accommodate a variety of needs we also offer shorter lengths (12 hours and 6 hours), and we'll also be happy to deliver any of the lengths on consecutive days if that's what you require.

Contact us today to bring this training to your organization!

Five Leadership Skills For The Creative Economy

Yes, the buck stops at your desk. But the creative economy is different, and taking responsibility is not enough. As a leader you also need to:
  • Assess qualitative progress that can lead to innovation
  • Support and encourage people to think outside the box
  • Take catalytic action when work gets bogged down
  • Stay on top of the chaos
  • Appreciate the value of the creative process

You can learn these skills, in five half-day workshops delivered on-site at your place of business.

Contact us today to learn how!

Cultivating Creative Leadership
(offered in half-day and full-day formats)

Today’s business challenges are enormous – resources are scarce, markets are wary, and people are anxious. More is demanded of your organization, and of you, and you're trying to adapt.

How well are your strategies working? Could you do better?

These are important questions to ask, because we tend to narrow our horizons when stressed. For example, you may have taken refuge in clarity and control, not realizing that they can actually inhibit your ability to adapt.

A better approach might be to widen your horizons by adding lack of clarity and decreased control to your repertoire. That's because now, more than ever, your success as a leader will depend on ingenuity, innovation, and creativity, three qualities that thrive on ambiguity and dynamic tension.

This entertaining, transformational workshop will teach you how to inspire those qualities in yourself and your colleagues. Based on a powerful model of the creative process, and using activities and concepts from the performing arts, “Cultivating Creative Leadership” will teach you how to reframe leadership challenges as creative opportunities.

You will learn how to use practical tools and techniques to capitalize on those opportunities, and how to inspire your colleagues to the higher level of imagination, collaboration, and humanity you need to succeed. With its highly interactive creative activities, live musical performance, and video clips, this workshop is guaranteed to give you a new perspective on your business challenges.

Contact us today to bring this workshop to your organization!

Productive Thinking Facilitation
(offered in half-day and full-day formats)

Productive Thinking is a problem definition and resolution technique that builds on 50 years of research by the Creative Education Foundation, 30 years of research by NASA, and five years of field testing. Its power lies in its ability to tap our intuition and creativity while still relying on hard facts and ruthless judgment. Definition, root causes, solution, and risks emerge during the six stages of creative work rather than being crafted independently in a strictly sequential fashion.

Productive Thinking has proven to be effective in generating truly innovative solutions. Its source book, Think Better (Hurson, 2007), is required reading in business school programs in the US, Canada, Australia, Korea, and Brazil. The technique is suitable for group, pair, and individual work. More information about it can be found here.

At your option, this workshop can be structured as a methodology training session or a facilitated planning, design, or problem-solving session. Both address the following topics:
  • Identifying root causes
  • Gathering relevant information through specific, focused questioning
  • Sources of information
  • Solution generation
  • Risk identification
  • Creative thinking methods

At the end of a workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Conduct a Productive Thinking problem-solving session (methodology session only)
  • Use Productive Thinking tools in other, less-structured situations
  • Justify and implement a newly discovered creative plan, design, or problem solution
Contact us today to bring this workshop to your organization!