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Organisations & Businesses

Welcome managers, supervisors, directors, and those of us who like to see organisations and businesses running well.

Innovative Resources produces products that connect with the heart of people. We create and publish high-quality resources that arise out of organisational best practice such as the ‘Strengths Approach’, ‘Choice Theory’ and ‘Appreciative Inquiry’. These are ways of motivating progress, building teams, encouraging innovative thinking and creating change by focussing on strengths and possibilities, rather than on problems and deficits.

We offer businesses, leaders, supervisors and board members opportunities to use professional, conversation-building tools to:

  • Drive change through shared leadership
  • Engage your workforce in understanding the values and purpose of the organisation
  • Build effective and connected teams
  • Assist with goal-setting, strategic planning and evaluation
  • Understand what respect and justice means in the workplace
  • Continually improve key functions like communication, empowerment and strengths-based supervision
  • Build cultural awareness in employees and managers
  • Engage learning and conversation on the subject of sustainability and the need for ecologically-sound practices
  • Understand the meaning and benefits of engaging in gender fair practices across the organisation/business

The Manager/Supervisor or Team Leader

Whether through promotion or recruitment, a new manager is expected to lead his or her team to achieve the goals of the organisation or business. Innovative Resources has a selection of conversation card sets that can help a manager build team dynamics, and set clear goals and objectives. Used either in a group or individual setting, the cards can be spread out on a table or selected randomly to begin conversations that may vary from a ‘getting to know you’ session, to canvassing the pulse of the team, to planning for the next quarter/year.

Supervision
There are also tools available that cover the scope of a supervision arrangement, with content separated into suits from beginning the supervision relationship to ending the arrangement and everything in between.

  • How is ‘supervision’ done in your business or organisation?
  • Does it create dynamic learning for both the supervisor and the person being supervised?
  • Or is it somehow falling flat?
  • Does the mere word ‘supervision’ have your employees running for the hills or does it excite you, your colleagues and staff with possibilities for professional growth and development?
  • What might strengths-based, solution-focussed supervision look like in your organisation?

Vision_For_Supervision 298pxHave a look at A Vision for Supervisionand consider using this resource to help plan and invigorate your supervision sessions. This card set arises out of the work of Roger Lowe (registered psychologist formerly teaching at Queensland University of Technology) and can be used or adapted to plan and conduct dynamic strengths-based, solution-focused supervision. It can also be used by educators and trainers to teach about the purpose and skills of supervision.

Teams and Groups
Looking to build or invigorate your teams and workgroups? Created with teams in mind and covering a range of design styles to suit the formality or informality of your setting, are the following resources:

Strengths in Teams
Change by Design
What Works?
The Nature of Strengths

While not referencing teams specifically, facilitators will have no trouble finding ways to use the following resources to have conversations with groups or teams about their skills, strengths, aims, values and next steps:

Symbols (no words just powerful symbols for anything you want to name)
Our Scrapbook of Strengths
Storycatching and Deep Speak (Try something different—use these to get some stories and laughter flowing in your group, team, meeting or conference)
Picture This (no words—just evocative pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words; watch the conversation flow!)

The Change Agent

Following the map set by Kotter, and his eight steps of change management, the first six, whilst not a walk in the park, are achievable:

  • Create the sense of urgency
  • Build a guiding team (champions)
  • Get the vision right, create a plan and timeline
  • Communicate for buy-in,
  • Empower action
  • Create and achieved short term wins

More difficult is how to:

  • keep up the impetus, and
  • make change stick.

Change by Design is a set of 120 double-sided cards that use questions to open up conversations about change. These questions challenge us to think how we can enact shared leadership in our groups, teams, organisations and companies. This is a powerful tool for keeping fairness alive in the way we participate and include others in any process of change.

Change_By_DesignIt recognises that change happens best when those who are affected are given the opportunity to let their leadership qualities shine. It also recognises that leadership does not come automatically with a particular position, but rather leadership is a shared responsibility and can be brought to the change process by anyone, at any time.

Coupled with the What Works? card set, Change by Design offers the user an opportunity to discuss and embed change in a way that includes others and is enjoyable.

The Board Member/Committee

Self-assessment by Boards, and mapping the skills or strengths that a Board contains, or is missing, can be enhanced with the use of Innovative Resources’ conversation cards. Similarly, a conversation or workshop on the team dynamics of the group can be facilitated with the use of Strengths in Teams conversation tools. Similarly, the use of a scaling option in What Works? can help a Board to monitor and improve the business’s communication, evaluation, management, creativity, and learning activities.

The Recruitment Manager

Human Resources studies teach us to look at both the skills, or qualifications, of each application, and also include behavioural questions. These behavioural questions help the recruiter to form an opinion as to the ‘cultural fit’ of the applicant within the organisation or business.

Strength_CardsUsing a card set like Strength Cards provides an opportunity to open up a conversation where the recruiter can get to know more about the applicant in a less formal context. It also allows the applicant to present his/her strengths, values and priorities in a way that standard interview questions may miss.

One approach is to ask the applicant to select three or four strengths that they would bring to the job, and explain why.

Building Organisational Culture

The_Strengths_Approach_WInnovative Resources creates and publishes card sets and books that are steeped in what is known as the ‘strengths approach’. This is a way of building teams, motivating progress and encouraging innovative business and organisational thinking by focussing on strengths and possibilities, rather than on problems and deficits.

A large number of variables define the characteristics of any organisation’s culture, but finding ways to make the organisation’s values explicit is vital:

  • What are the values of your organisation?
  • How are these values created, refreshed and communicated?
  • Are the values of your organisation buried in policy documents or are they overtly discussed and displayed?
  • Are staff in your organisation encouraged to develop the capacity to notice their own and other’s strengths?
  • Are managers in your organisation actively building environments and occasions for discussing and acknowledging strengths?

Because Innovative Resources’ materials have so many uses they present lots of possibilities for active culture-building:

  • Energise hallways, staffrooms, waiting rooms, and noticeboards with cards and stickers that display the organisations values with strengths-based messages.
  • Use strengths-based cards sets in evaluation, supervision and staff interviews.
  • Create awards and reporting styles that celebrate strengths.
  • Create staff meetings where strengths and learning styles are identified and celebrated.
  • Build strengths vocabularies and cultures in teams by using card sets that name strengths.
  • Motivate staff and be a corporate contributor with social justice initiatives and policies that include such things as gender fairness and ecological sustainability.

Resourcing Self Care Strategies for Staff

Every business or organisation knows that staff wellbeing is crucial. Creating an environment where staff are encouraged to develop self-care strategies makes sense in terms of simply caring about people, but it also in terms of the bottom line.

Innovative Resources has produced a range of products that are perfect for resourcing self-care conversations. Take a look in particular at: