Working Creatively with Difference

ONLINE, TWICE IN 2024

A creative approach to difference for effective collaboration

Increasingly we are required to collaborate in different sectors as awareness grows of the reduced impact that comes from working in silos. Collaboration is loosely understood as doing things together, but more often than not is about how we navigate our differences to achieve things together, and the ways in which we approach difference in collaboration matter.

Collaborating across difference seems like a great idea, until we butt up against some group or faction we don’t agree with, then it doesn’t feel so great anymore and we develop secret or subtle ways to avoid difference.

But what if we came at difference and collaboration like an artist working with different colours?

What if working with difference felt, well….different?

The creative arts have a unique angle on difference – artists forever have known the creative and generative benefits of contrast, opposites and juxtaposition – photographer Conrad Hall says it well:

“Contrast is what makes photography interesting.”

Welcome to process oriented group facilitation practices meets creativity, with the thorny challenge of working with differences in groups and workplaces as its muse.

Who is the course for?

People who need to collaborate in their working / personal life.

People who work with groups of any age.

People interested in developing ways of harnessing creative energy and emergence in their work, whether it be for their own role, for teamwork, or for collective work.

People who see the connection between personal and professional development.

People who like to learn experientially with others.

What’s in the course?

We explore and create together over five weeks. That’s Five weekly sessions, two hours each, a mix of individual experiential exercises; interactive discussion, small groupwork, tools to use, and integration exercises. You’ll leave with creative tools to work on difference with groups from every session.
PLUS Each participant gets a 1:1 coaching session to support them to develop their own inner Team throughout the course.

SESSION 1 – Difference starts within

Confronting our own internal differences can be challenging – often we don’t want to acknowledge or listen to the parts of us that don’t match our everyday identity. And yet our internal experience impacts how we embrace difference in others. The more we can embrace our own differences, the easier and more comfortable it becomes to work with. Here we play with the concept of our own creative inner team – by witnessing, embracing and harnessing difference in ourselves as a foundational mindbodyset for working collaboratively.

SESSION 2 – The electric potential of what’s ‘in the way’

Saying the wrong thing in a group, sector or community can have big consequences, and to ignore that is potentially dangerous. What if we took even more notice of it? Brought it out, shined a light and then explicitly and creatively engaged with it? Can you feel the goosebump energy already? In this session we take the natural barriers to difference like political correctness, and explore together creative possibilities for spaces and structures to more safely lean into different perspectives and stances, to prevent cycling, stagnation and echo chambers.

SESSION 3 – Radical bedfellows: Unlocking the creative and generative power of difference

When our work is about coming together – it can seem counterintuitive to bring out our differences. It’s natural to avoid conflict and opposition due to fear of hurting each other or derailment of our work together. But the cost is often limited results. Here we explore using and harnessing our differences as gateways to emergent new thinking and innovation by playing intentionally with tension – using creative constructs for generating art that can be repurposed for groups such as contrast, juxtaposition and mashups.

SESSION 4 – Creative designing for difference

How can you explore difference in crowded or inflexible work environments? If we except the generative power of difference, how can we bake it in to our structures and normalise difference for purpose?  Here we explore the impactful creative concept of constraint, how to capitalise on difference in co-design, and using creative methods to deliberately design for difference.

SESSION 5 – Difference as healing and a gateway to depth

Difference often presents as the cause of problems, born from the clash of background histories we carry with us, the expectations we place upon them, and a fear of what unleashing emotion can bring. And yet difference is also the root of change and transformation. Loving difference creates a space for beauty, witnessing, listening and belonging. Here we explore creative structures like ritual to create spaces to work more deeply together.

What you’ll get from the course

Everyone will of course take away different things from the experience, but as a bare minimum, expect:

  • shifts in how you perceive difference, both in yourself and in others, such that you can work with difference more effectively
  • creative tools for using difference with groups and designing for difference
  • new perspectives on the role of difference in conflict, co-design, collaboration, teamwork and group facilitation.

YOUR TRAINER

Beck Ronkson

Beck is a facilitator, coach and psychotherapist with a background in theatre and community cultural development. Her work/ practice has emerged over 25 years through the mashup of depth psychology, group facilitation, theatre and systems change. She is passionate about working with groups to codesign, create and facilitate engaging and meaningful experiences so that they can harness the creative energy within their differences to make good, congruent decisions together.

Beck consults to large systems-wide organisations and smaller regional initiatives and groups to build upon the already present capacity within individuals, communities and systems to support collaboration, community self-determination and social equity. She also works with individuals as a psychotherapist and coach to put them in touch with a deeper sense of their own wisdom and emergent potential. Beck is on the core faculty here at ANZPOP, is an Associate with Collaboration for Impact and runs her own private practice. Full bio here

Check out this creative facilitation tool Beck designed by combining  Process Work role theory, systemic speed stating, theatre role work, and musical chairs:

THE DETAILS

Dates

This course will run twice in 2024, on Friday afternoons, 1pm-3pm (Sydney time) on the following dates:

Round 1 – 16, 23 February, 1, 8, 15 March

Round 2 – 18, 25 October, 1, 8, 15 November

Fees

Standard rate – $800 (includes 1 x coaching session)

Concession rate – $500 (includes 1 x coaching session)

Fairtrade rates are available for people from Global South economies. Contact us at admin@anzpop.org to arrange.

Cancellations

Cancellations with more than seven business days’ notice will be refunded in full.

Cancellations with seven or less business days’ notice will not be refunded.

Recordings

This is a live online course.

Sessions will be recorded for registered participants to watch if they miss a session, for 10 days after the missed session.

Prior knowledge

You don’t need to have any knowledge of Process Work for this course.

You do need to have group contexts in which you grapple with difference somewhere in your life, be it professionally or personally.

Inner Team coaching package

The course fees include one individual coaching session with Beck.

To maximise your own practice and Inner diversity work, supplement the integration of each session with an additional pack of 1:1 coaching specific to your context in between each weekly session.
3 supplementary coaching sessions $360 (save 25%)

ANZPOP acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands we live and work on, the Aboriginal Australian, and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the Maori First Nations peoples. We pay respect to their elders across time. We give thanks for the Indigenous knowledge that has informed the Process Work approach. We honour the courage, resilience, and spirit of First Nations peoples to counter the ongoing impacts of colonisation on their culture, well-being, and sovereignty.

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