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Category: Business

There are SO many things that you could be doing to grow your business, but only 24 hours in a day. So how do you decide which ideas will make the most difference to your bottom line? And how do you get results – fast? Tune in to Idea Time for tools, tips and interviews to find out how

September 17, 2020

Getting Engagement in Online Workshops - Trust & Psychological Safety

In this solo episode I share why taking time to build trust between delegates and an environment that helps with psychological safety is essential for generating engagement in online meetings and workshops.


I share some of the latest science on trust and psychological safety, along with practical tips to support you with your virtual facilitation.


To join my free private Facebook group, Idea Time for Workshop Facilitators, please use this link.



September 4, 2020

The Innovation Story of VWall -The Virtual Whiteboard Ahead of Its Time

Join me and innovators Mark Whittaker from Velresco and Chris Wilson from Adamo to hear the story of how Mark created a new virtual whiteboard for online meetings and workshops called VWall back in 2010, well ahead of the curve, and how VWall has developed to being an invaluable tool for many facilitators here and now.

Mark and Chris share how VWall is a great facilitation tool, and how easy it is to use with platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others to optimise delegate engagement and participation.

VWall allows we facilitators to intuitively capture and instantly analyse ideas from our workshop participants. Personally, I really enjoy using it in sessions for sticky note activities, mind mapping, polling and much more.

I found it inspiring to listen to Mark and Chris sharing the innovation journey of VWall, from an idea borne out of frustration and opportunity to becoming a super-useful, easy-to-use and successful commercial facilitation product.

If you'd like to know more about VWall and have a demo with Chris, and / or sign up for a free trial, just reach out to him on Linked in here.

Thank you Chris and Mark for a really interesting conversation!





August 28, 2020

How to Get Ideas Flowing in Virtual Workshops & Online Meetings

In this solo podcast I share practical tips and advice for facilitators on how to get ideas flowing in your virtual workshops and online meetings.

I also share information about my free online programme for facilitators, Supercharge Your Virtual Engagement on Zoom, which you can join for free HERE.

In the podcast you'll learn:

  • How ideas are formed and why that's important for your online sessions
  • How to design online workshops that work for diverse thinking and learning styles
  • How to use different creativity techniques through movement, words, numbers, objects, images and more to get and keep ideas flowing and make sure that delegate engagement stays high
  • Why creative idea generation techniques such as 'crazy eights'. co-consulting, expert interviews and lightning talks help with idea generation - and how to use them
  • Why traditional 'brainstorming' doesn't work - and what to do instead
  • Why it's important to give idea generation time and space

I hope you enjoy the show - let me know what you think, and share the things that you do to get and keep ideas flowing in your online workshops.

August 21, 2020

Love Your Numbers! Special Episode with Mahmood, The Numbers Rockstar

Join me and Mahmood Reza, the Numbers Rockstar, for this special edition episode to celebrate the first year of the official #lovemyaccountantday on 25th August.

Mahmood has worked to officially get this day into the annual event calendar.


Listen in to find out:

 - How Mahmood created an official day in the event calendar and why

 - Why Mahmood is so passionate about helping business owners to really understand and feel comfortable with using their numbers to tell the story of their business

  - How we, as business owners, can work more effectively with our accountants so that we can help them to help us more

 - Why and how our attitudes and beliefs about money influence our business decisions

 - Why money is important for all organisations, including purpose led businesses, not-for-profits and organisations in the arts and creative sector


You can find out more about Mahmood here, and join in #loveyouraccountantday on his social feeds:

Twitter: @mahmood_reza

Instagram: @mahmoodnumbersrockstar

Mahmood's podcast is I Hate Numbers, and you can find his live show on his Facebook page.



August 21, 2020

Productivity Hacks for Virtual Facilitators

In this solo episode I share my top Productivity Hacks for Virtual Facilitators.

My FREE Supercharge Your Virtual Engagement on Zoom Challenge starts on 7th September - you can find out more and sign up here.

Here are the links to the tools I mention:

SessionLab for planning and designing sessions.

Ecamm Live for video recording and live videos.

Canva for designing great presentations and graphics.

Slidemodel for PowerPoint templates for virtual flipcharts and worksheets.

Mentimeter for interactive polling and quizzes.

I love SessionLab and Ecamm Live so much I actually became an affiliate  - just to let you know and to be transparent about that.




August 14, 2020

Innovation Success with Richard Hall

Join me and my special guest Richard Hall, founder of Pd-m International Limited, an innovation, product design and manufacturing consultancy.

We discuss the success factors of getting a product from concept to commercialisation or use in practice.

Richard shares his definition of innovation and the different levels and types of innovation, from incremental to disruptive.

Richard and I both use design thinking in our workshops, and we explore what it is and how we use it. Richard gives the example of how he has used design thinking to create medical innovations for surgeons.

Richard gives us his six trigger points for establishing a successful innovation, innovation process and the 'fog of uncertainty' and how innovation in the beginning can be like the flight of a bumblebee! Also why the process of co-design with customers is so important and how he has continued to do that through Covid-19 using online platforms.

I share why designing the "fog of uncertainty"- sometimes also known as the "groan zone" in innovation sprints and workshops is important.

Finally we discuss approaches and techniques that can be used in workshops and innovation more generally to achieve success, and different mindsets to challenge thinking - including asking "so wot?", "wot now?" and then "wot next?".

Richard also shares how he has pivoted his business to manufacture face shields that carry the CE mark. He plans to continue innovating and growing the business.

Thank you Richard for a great conversation, I'm sure you and the team will go from strength to strength.

Here is the Design Council reference we talked about for the Innovation Process : https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/what-framework-innovation-design-councils-evolved-double-diamond.

To join me free private facebook group for facilitators, Idea Time for Workshop Facilitators, use this link here.

For Force Field Analysis, Risk Register and Reverse Brain Storming workshop templates for delegates, please email me at jo@bigbangpartnership.co.uk and I will send them across to you.

Richard's bio:

Richard started his career aged 16 in 1986 as an Engineering Apprentice at Rolls-Royce Plc. After four years of training Richard was posted to the Engineering Drawing Office at the Derby fan blade facility. After studying part-time night class whilst working Richard then studied BA (Hons) Industrial Design full time. On graduating in 1994 Richard worked for 11 years in industry in the UK, Eastern Europe, the US and China. In 2005 Richard founded Pd-m International Limited, an innovation, product design and manufacturing consultancy. In addition to running the business Richard has been the lead mentor for the Design Council spark innovation fund, a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art and Leeds Becket University. Richard currently consults for Innovate UK and is studying a Masters Degree part time in Senior Leadership at The University of Leeds Business School. In 2018 Richard was awarded Fellowship at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Art, Manufactures and Commerce.

To find out more about Richard or get in touch with him you can find him here:

Instagram @pdm_productdesign
Web site www.pd-m.com
August 7, 2020

Virtual Facilitation using Microsoft Teams & Goal Magic with Leila Ainge

Join me in this episode with my special guest Leila Ainge on Virtual Facilitation using Microsoft teams. We also discuss ambitious goals and goal-setting as well as Leila's 'Pavilion Ponders' and more!


Leila shares tips on how to use Microsoft Teams for facilitated sessions, including setting up breakout groups by setting up channels in advance, using other tools that integrate with Teams and how to chat and messages before your session starts to begin engagement.


Leila also updates us on some new features in Microsoft Teams that are coming out in the autumn.


We discuss the differences, benefits and challenges of using Zoom or Teams and the collaborative tools we use.


For more facilitation tips and techniques and be part of a great community of facilitators, come and join my free Facebook Group, Idea Time for Workshop Facilitators. I'd love to see you in there.


If you'd like to learn more about Leila or connect with her, you can find her at:


www.aingeconsulting.co.uk/blog (home of the ponder)

https://www.aingeconsulting.co.uk/goal-magic-preview Free online course, taking action.

@leila_ainge Instagram





July 31, 2020

Connect with Your Magic. Transformational Change with Christine Francis Asmar

I love that we can unexpectedly find light in unexpected places.


Through lockdown I sat here in North Yorkshire and made a new friend in Christine Francis in Beirut.  Christine is a highly qualified and accomplished change leadership expert and coach, and it was an absolute pleasure to spend time with her on the latest episode of my Idea Time podcast.


Christine and I found each other on Instagram, began a dialogue, worked on virtual facilitation together and found that we have so much in common, especially our values, love of learning and joy of facilitation.


We discuss how Christine has been working a lot with the Change Curve and the Transition Model to support people transition in the uncertain world we're living in. She helps them to tap into their growth mindset, especially when they are at the bottom of the curve because this is either where magic happens or nothing happens at all.  Christine explains how she uses her deep knowledge and training, along with her own personal experience of change, to enable people to connect to their magic at a personal level and at the business level, because we always have a choice, no matter what the situation is, and choose actions based on their values.


Christine also shares her experience and tips on virtual facilitation, and how she has been running change and transformation workshops online for businesses, and the experience of getting back into a physical meeting room with social distancing measures in place.

To learn more about Christine, or to get in contact with here, you'll find her here:
Instagram is christinefrancis72
July 15, 2020

Values-based Leadership in Challenging Times with Sarah Price

Sarah Price is Strategic Manager and Director of a Community Interest Company that delivers physical activities for schools. She is an Idea Time programme member, and has also joined the new Business Growth Club run by Mahmood Reza and me.

Sarah shares her leadership story through recent months and how she has navigated the challenges of lockdown with her school customers and remote team engagement.

She is an absolute inspiration, and I'm delighted that Sarah has joined me on the podcast. The insights and experiences that Sarah shares will resonate with you too, I'm sure.

You can connect with Sarah here on Linkedin, and as always I'd love to hear your thoughts on the episode.

And if you'd like to find out more about the Business Growth Club, please click here.

July 13, 2020

How to Scale Up Your Business

In this podcast, which celebrates the upcoming launch of our new Business Growth Club with Mahmood and Jo  I share the key success factors for scaling up your business. 

I cover:

  • The importance of testing that the demand exists for your product or service
  • Why it's important to have solid, streamlined and replicable business processes to support your scale up and some easy ways that you can get ready to delegate or outsource your behind-the-scenes activities
  • The key financial and cashflow considerations you need to bear in mind, and why

I also refer to Mahmood Reza's excellent free resources to help you work through the cashflow implications of your scale up which you can get here.