“Strategic ‘doing’, putting productivity in the right places” 

We’re mindful of how we use resources; how we reduce, reuse and recycle and are being more thoughtful on what resources we truly need.  Too often we don’t think about time, yet it’s the resource which is finite.  Research shows that only 30-40% of the average workday is actually productive yet we manage to fill our time and often don’t feel like we’ve actually achieved what we started out to do.

So what would you do if you had more time?  Time to actually think, time to think strategically.  You might want to work smarter to fit your working day into five hours and with this new time take up a Masters degree, spend time with family or take on a fabulous new project, then you should think about how to be productive in the time that you have.

The Art of Persuasion Communication

There are now more ways to communicate today than ever before. This has been fuelled by the rise of the internet, digital technology and social media. So much so that we are now bombarded with more messages every day than we can possibly remember or manage. Economists have given this phenomena a name, the “Attention Economy”, which treats human attention as a scarce commodity. More tech is not the answer, in fact, it’s a big part of the problem, and the mobile phone, for instance, has become the weapon of mass distraction. The answer lies in recognizing that persuasion doesn’t happen on screen, or on the page, it happens in the human mind, and that understanding how we react to messages and what influences our decision making processes is what constitutes powerful persuasion.

Mind Mapping – Visual Integrative Thinking

Mind Maps follow the natural organising procedures of our neural pathways. They integrate ideas, prioritise thoughts and give space for strategic thinking at the complex level. They create links and associations facilitating easy recall, and work as a prime tool for giving presentations and memorising information. Compact in structure, they also allow for efficient collation of research and data and offer an opportunity for complex problem solving.

During the course, we will learn how to do several different types of maps, from concept mapping, to knowledge mapping. We will look at how to map for idea generation, information storage and recall, and for presenting, and explore how mind mapping can help us look afresh at complex problem solving and strategy development.

Story Illustrations – Write and Illustrate your own Stories

I firmly believe that everyone of us is capable of writing and illustrating our own stories and I hope that this course will help ease the characters, places and words out of your head and onto the open page. I will show you how to simplify your ideas, help you with the structure a story requires, and give you the confidence and ability to draw the characters you need to bring your ideas bursting into the world.

Things you will learn:

How to destruct and simplify
Cheats, short cuts and tricky bits to avoid
The Rules of Book Publishing and how to get noticed.

Let’s draw!

How to Start Your Novel (and how to keep going)

Do you want to write a novel but feel overwhelmed? If you sit and wait for inspiration to strike, you might be waiting for a long time. In this workshop we break things down into manageable tasks.

We go back to basics: What is inspiration, and how do you find it? What kind of story are you interested in writing? How does that kind of book work? How do you create your characters? What function do your characters fulfill? How do you begin to build a plot that will engage readers and keep them reading? We will think about the different kinds of thinking required in research, planning, writing and editing a novel.

And finally, we consider some strategies for keeping going when it gets tough.

Master Creative Intelligence – Tools, Tips and Techniques

Creative Intelligence is a combination of art and science and is in demand now more than ever as we face increasingly complex globally inter-linked problems. With the advancement of neuroscience, we now have a deep understanding of our thinking processes, and can, as a result, choose and direct our thinking styles appropriately.

In this workshop, we explore how we think, where we get stuck, and how to see afresh. We learn to use different thinking tools for different occasions and build creative muscle. We also explore some of the psychological attitudes that influence our creative potential and abilities. Ultimately, we gain a fresh perspective on how to improve personal and team creative output bringing real value to team performance.

Story Telling – Magic and Mechanics

All the best presentations, sales pitches, lectures, management debates, even negotiations share one vital ingredient, they all contain a compelling story. Stories are highly persuasive. Psychologists have shown that our brains are hard-wired to react to stories more than any other form of communication. From Stone Age man sitting round the camp fire to classic literature and right up to Netflix, the basic elements of storytelling have remained unchanged for thousands of years. Storytelling – magic and mechanics reveals the mystery of story, how stories work on us psychologically, and explains the basic elements of storytelling so that we can tell more interesting stories and be more persuasive. Both in our personal and professional lives, story is the most powerful communication tool we have. Storytelling – magic and mechanics will show you how to become a more effective communicator by becoming a more engaging storyteller.

Botanical Illustrations

This is a good, basic, old fashioned plant drawing course, for which you will need a sharp pencil and an inquiring mind. Once you have learnt the tricks, solutions and methods that Botanical Illustrators have used for centuries, you will be amazed at how your pencil skills improve leaving you free to take your plant drawing abilities in any direction you choose.

Go wild!

* Brief introduction to the art of Botanical Illustration.
* Explore the basic forms and structures that make up the ” bones” of plant forms.
* Learn the importance of a sharp pencil and a single line!
* Curves, folds, junctions and roots …let’s draw.