Esther Weinstein is the Director of Imaginary Zoo Business Ideation. As a Systems Practitioner, she works with strategic innovation development and has over 20 years of experience in community development and training with a diverse range of stakeholders. Her recent work has been in the Housing Sector, developing innovation programmes and building innovative capabilities. Here she shares her experience of using Ketso in her work, and discusses new ways to collaborate opening up through the pandemic.
What I’ve always loved about working with groups is the sense of connectivity you get with all of us in the same place working together on a shared issue.
One of my main tasks as a facilitator is to create safe spaces that enable those connections – whether it is cross functional learning, the merging of ideas, or the connections made when people find out they share the same challenges and passions. At some point though, you want to be able to discuss these connections and move them into structured thinking where you can find ways to take actions.
I worked with a large Housing Group for four years developing and delivering their innovation programme. I used the Ketso kits as one of the tools in the Innovation Boot camps or Challenge days, to take us from Ideas to Action.
Exploring options with Ketso
I was tasked with enabling a culture of innovation amongst staff, so I created a programme which worked through the innovation process using relevant visual and experiential tools.
“I am very keen to use Ketso Connect in our upcoming programmes, so that whilst sitting in our boxes we can feel like we are in the same space, working collaboratively across the wires.”
Coming from a community development third sector background, I utilised tools from systems thinking and practice, drama, play, innovation and NGO/ Community development. We used the Ketso kits towards the end of the Challenge day to drill into defined problem and solution options, to discuss divergent options within these.
I found the kits great for engendering a sense of ownership around tangible solutions, and for facilitating an understanding of the value of being iterative. For the Group, physically working together to see the gathering together of these ideas on the Ketso board surfaced the connections and relationships in a really creative way.
Bringing a sense of connection to remote engagement
As a consultant I focus heavily on working with teams in how to use the relevant visual and experiential tools to enable ‘different thinking and doing’ capability. We say we help organisations develop change-makers, who then work towards improvements in areas like service transformation.
This last year has moved us all to a digital way of life. I have tried to build, as far as possible, the hands-on, face to face experiential group facilitation that I loved, and was so effective, into these digital settings. I have managed to move a number of tools to digital delivery. However, with us all sitting in our little boxes I have still been missing some of the tools that help create that connection and safe space.
Ketso have bought out Ketso Connect which they have been using very successfully with cohorts of students this year. I am very keen to use Ketso Connect in our upcoming programmes, so that whilst sitting in our boxes we can feel like we are in the same space, working collaboratively across the wires so we can gather the best ideas and build our shared understanding of the issues.