Thinking Differently


The call to “think differently” doesn’t always land well. People might want to avoid looking daft. Maybe they simply don’t see themselves as being creative or maybe they think they are already doing their best. Surely this is a time when we need to innovate more than ever and the good news is that anyone can think differently.

All we need is a clear sense of “Why”, a bit of structure, and an appetite for change.

Simon Coker shares his thoughts on how you can frame the need for change and start to engage the full talents present in your team. We are running a free online workshop on Thursday 30th at 1.00 pm. It would be great to have you there.  You can register here:

Thinking Differently

Being able to think differently is a huge asset right now. As we look for answers to what our business will look like in the future, we need to make sure that we are fully tapping into peoples’ creativity and that they feel supported to experiment and try new things. We are holding a virtual workshop on thinking differently – Thursday 30th April at 1.00 pm. We would love to have you there. Please share and click on the link below to register.

Commitment by Simon Coker


Following on from a team having the necessary trust in each other and embracing constructive conflict as a positive behaviour of a healthy group, commitment is moving from difference of opinion to everyone involved being behind the decision that has been made.


Two things that help that happen are firstly it being clear what decision has been made and secondly everyone to be supportive of that decision – whether or not it was their initial first choice.


When we start to think about this behaviour the value of trust and conflict become apparent.  People need to trust each other to feel psychologically safe enough to disagree.  Without this safety and the robust conversation that it facilitates, people don’t get to express honest opinion and feel that they have been heard.  To get real commitment to decisions we need to feel things are being done with us rather than to us.  So, make sure everyone is involved in the virtual conversations you are having.


When working at a distance, partly due to the constraints of the tech, conversations can more easily get muddled.  Being clear on what is being discussed (and what is not!) in which meeting, and having distinct meetings for different topics (strategy, tactics, commercial etc.) will help avoid that confusion of “What are we here to discuss?”, and the resulting disengagement.  Clearly articulating what has been decided and why (having listened to everyone’s input!) as well as confirming key outcomes in writing post-meeting will add clarity – better to look back and say we probably over communicated a bit than under communicated.


The complexity and ambiguity we are experiencing in Covid 19 times can easily stall commitment.  When there is so much uncertainty flying about it can be easy to shy away from committing to decisions and fall into paralysis by analysis.  Actually, it’s unrealistic to be 100% certain on what is the right course of action just now (if it ever is), so waiting around for that certainty is counterproductive.  Performing teams and leaders can notice and avoid that scenario by recognising when it is better to make and commit to a decision with the information we currently have, than to flounder in the hope that certainty will somehow arrive.  It is always possible to commit to a different course of action in the future if necessary.


Commitment to the team decision, build on trust and constructive conflict, keeps the team aligned and builds the sense of in it together.

Trust by Simon Coker


Humans are social creatures; our strength is in our connections with other people.  The trust in those connections is the glue that holds teams together.  As such “social distancing” is at odds with something at the very core of who we are as people and unchecked will jeopardise the ability of teams to perform.


With people at home surrounded by the uncertainty of what is going on around them and disconnected and isolated from their networks, our feelings of vulnerability are likely to be dialled up a notch or two.  And when we feel vulnerable what do we do?  We go defensive and protective and we feel scared, and in that storm it’s hard to trust.  We need to really know that people have got our backs, we need to really trust that they are there for us.


Without the physical presence we are accustomed to, it is easy for gaps to open up in the trust team members have with each other and that is the start of a slippery slope.  On the other hand, have each other’s back through the difficult times and you’ll emerge stronger than ever.


When we talk about trust we are talk about vulnerability-based trust.  i.e. deciding that something I hold to be of value is safe with this person in this situation.  In this current climate leaders need to be stepping up their effort to trust and be trustworthy, give and hold those things of value.  Connect with people to recognise and acknowledge the challenges and difficulties.  Accept and communicate the uncertainty (no-one has all the answers at the moment, and everyone knows it) but let people know we are in this together and will work through it together.


As we settle into the foreseeable, to build trust, reframe your role from working around social distancing to building social connection while physically distanced.

Thriving in a Crisis – Conflict

“Conflict”- the second in our mini-series on how teams can thrive in a crisis. David Robertson looks at how leaders can encourage quality debate and drive engagement. Join us for our virtual workshop on April the 14th at 1.00 pm.

Click this link to register:

Thriving in a Crisis – Trust

Trust is the glue that binds great teams together. In a crisis, especially when distancing is the new normal, we must work very hard to build and maintain trusting relationships. In this short film, Simon Coker talks about what we can do to make sure that our teams continue to thrive while working remotely. We are sharing a series of short films in the next few days, building up to an online workshop on the 14th April at 1.00pm.

In the session, you will be able to talk with peers and take away usable ideas for successful leadership and teamwork in a crisis. Click on the link to register and please share. We look forward to seeing you next week. Stay safe.

Thriving in a Crisis – Introduction

We have been speaking to leaders from different sectors to understand how they are setting their teams up for success in these fluid and uncertain times. Their stories are inspiring and practical. We will be sharing a series of short films in the next few days, building up to an online workshop on the 14th April at 1.00pm.

In the session, you will be able to talk with peers and take away usable ideas for successful leadership and teamwork in a crisis. Click on the link below to register and please share. We look forward to seeing you next week. Stay safe.

Why work with an External Virtual Facilitator?

If you are serious about wanting to run the best virtual workshop possible, here are 5 reasons that you should consider working with a Wild Thinking facilitator:

1. Preparation
A big part of the success of any virtual workshop is about what happens before anyone even enters the room. A Wild Thinking facilitator will take responsibility for ensuring that when people turn up they are clear on why they are there, they understand the purpose of the session and they have all the information they need. They will make sure that the materials in the room are right for the group. This all takes time, focus and experience.

2. The Right Agenda and Process
A Wild Thinking facilitator is there to make it easier for a group to have a great session. Designing an agenda that engages people is key to this but the facilitator will also bring a wealth of experience in how to structure sessions to make sure that everything flows and that outcomes are achieved.

3. Neutrality
Many organisations have good internal facilitators but will they really be able to be truly independent of the workshop topic or the people involved? The beauty of a Wild Thinking facilitator is that they are there purely in support of the group, with no axe to grind and no bias.

4. Airtime
Rooky Facilitator trap #1 is a very easy one to fall in to – thinking that active conversation from a small number of participants means good levels of participation from the group. Often, the opposite is true. A few voices hog all of the airtime, leaving others feeling uncomfortable and disengaged. An experienced Wild Thinking facilitator will manage these dynamics and make sure to create an environment where everyone has a chance to contribute

5. Action
Nothing leaves a sour taste in the mouth after a busy virtual workshop like a lack of clarity on what was agreed and what should happen next. A Wild Thinking facilitator will always have an eye fixed on the follow up – recording decisions and structuring follow up actions so that the group is clear and accountable on who is going to do what and why. They will then capture everything in a clear write up that is circulated promptly after the session.

Need a Virtual Facilitator?


Contact: Wild Thinking to discuss your team and let us share virtual or face to face workshop approaches

Collaboration – it’s a trust thing

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Wild Thinking spent a great day yesterday at the Decom Offshore Conference, and the word of the day was definitely collaboration. The message was clear – operators and supply chain need to look beyond money and “what’s in it for me?” and think instead about how they can build proper win / win relationships based on “what’s in it for us?”.

The prize is potentially huge. With the Oil and Gas Authority looking to the industry to deliver 35% savings on current levels, opportunities to collaborate, learn and share are seen as key planks in unlocking the viability of a thriving decommissioning sector. We heard about BS1100, which brings solid business process to the job of collaboration and that is clearly a very important thing. What stood out though, was that underpinning all of these technical and structural considerations, there is a very simple human consideration – trust.

Trust is won (and lost) through behaviours. Interestingly, one speaker was very candid about the whole behaviours piece. He was asked to comment on how to approach building and measuring the human dimension to collaboration and he said that that this was still very much work in progress,  with a number of spreadsheets in development!

This got us thinking about what Wild Thinking could do to accelerate the trust building process  – a process that holds the key to the collaborative behaviours that will help build momentum in what is this morning reported as being a $100 billion industry over the next 25 years.

So here it is, the 5 step guide to building trust in business:

  1. Understand the outcomes that everyone needs and get aligned behind goals that will create a true win /win
  2. Be prepared to give trust in the first instance. Be brave and take a few risks!
  3. Remember that you don’t have all of the answers. Be open about your failings and you will get to know and understand each other properly.
  4. Actively talk about values and look for common ground that will anchor your joint endeavour against any rough seas.
  5. Give feedback and welcome feedback from others. There will be things that you say and do that rub others up the wrong way. Get them out in the open and you will improve the working relationship as you go


Collaboration is the way forward but if we really want to make it work for us, then it is time to go beyond process and platitudes and start to model the behaviours that really build trust. When we do that, the prize becomes a lot easier to reach.