Helping teams step outside their comfort zone


The National Trust

The National Trust run a professional development event every year. Its called Convestival and it is designed to inspire, and give managers the confidence to innovate. It’s precious ‘time out’ to think and explore new ideas, particularly because most staff within the Trust also have a crucial role of supporting volunteers as part of their wider role, say as a Ranger, Visitor Services Manager or Head Gardener.

2016 Convestival coincided with a shift in the Trusts 10-year Volunteering Vision to explore new approaches to volunteering and we needed our people to see that everyone can be creative and innovative: it’s not that you’ve got it or you haven’t, rather it’s about creating the right conditions to enable your natural creativity to shine through.

We asked Lucy to run a 30-minute plenary session and two workshops to help delegates cultivate the mind-set for innovation. Lucy’s plenary included:

  • Why innovation is important and why it is key to deliver the National Trust’s strategy and core purpose
  • Different types of innovation and the importance of going after both incremental and radical change
  • How to overcome ‘not feeling ready’ to innovate
  • The importance of getting it wrong in successful innovating
  • Her perceptions of volunteering at the Trust and how we might move forward.

“Lucy’s plenary session was fantastic and many found Lucy’s warm and energising style something they could relate to: particularly important when delivering messages around innovation which can feel overwhelming and unsettling for some people.” Katherine Horsham, Head of Volunteering, National Trust

The plenary was followed by two immersive 90-minute workshops that used improv-theatre to bring these concepts to life! This practical session also gave delegates tools to use to help their teams innovate back in their day jobs including the innovation animal quiz to help people identify what sort of innovator they are. (You can do the quiz here) Innovation animals definitely added extra value for us.

“The workshop was brilliant in that it bought the content of Lucy’s plenary session to life in a fun and practical way.” Katherine Horsham, Head of Volunteering, National Trust

We evaluated the reaction to each workshop by measuring inspiration, relevance and likelihood to implement. Lucy’s workshop ‘How to up your innovation impact’ scored “definitely” for 100% of attendees.

The content that Lucy shared at Convestival was rich and offered lots of food for thought. Since the event, we’ve run a workshop at our head office for people who didn’t go to Convestival to spread the learning further. We used clips from the film of Lucy’s plenary, and created activities for groups to work through to explore how we might apply the content to our context. We had a lot of great stuff to choose from in putting this together.

“I found working with Lucy energising and exciting. She’s got a great working knowledge of the subject and a great story to bring to life almost any point you would want to make about innovation! Lucy delivered what we asked for and more and played a key role in delivering our best-ever Convestival.“ Katherine Horsham, Head of Volunteering, National Trust

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