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Navigating Disruption, Singapore Workshop

The focus of the workshop was around Navigating Disruption, whether it is out of your control, or something which could have been foreseen, and building a culture which can respond effectively to those changes.

The cause of disruption is usually the speed of technological change, social and political change and demographic change.

The effect of disruption is a breakdown of trust, challenges to learn, resistance to change, uncertainty and anxiety.

Dr. Geoff Cox and Graham Cook of RSVP Design develop tools for Learning Agility, which is the ability to quickly adapt, learn & understand new problems & providing solutions. As well as providing activities for Reframing (how to look at a situation differently) to help Navigate Disruption.

The workshop started with participants choosing an image from the Images of Organisations activity to introduce themselves.

The next activity that Graham and Geoff introduced us to was Challenging Assumptions; one of RSVP Design’s bestselling products. Challenging Assumptions is a small, group activity that forces participants to challenge their usual way of thinking in order to solve the puzzle presented to them, and it allowed them to witness the importance of reworking information, experimentation and taking risks.

Geoff and Graham continued with Innovation Images to demonstrate creative thinking and innovative skills. A set of simple but carefully selected images were shown to participants and they had to link the images to an object e.g. how would an image of a mouse, boot and a wooden log, link to a computer? The first is very obvious a computer mouse, the second needed a bit of a think – reboot. And some took very long to link the third image to login/logout.

The Webmaster activity showed the importance of effective collaboration to develop time management skills, through effective communication and planning processes. As sub-groups had to work together to construct a structure with different coloured ropes, with only a black and white diagram.

RSVP Design’s experiential learning tools are great to identify individuals who are agile learners; ideal traits for navigating disruption successfully. Knowing who these individuals are helps organisations accelerate leadership development.

Some individuals have:

Mental agility – comfortable with complexity


People agility – skilled communicators


Change agility – like to experiment and are comfortable with change


Results agility – can deliver results in first time situations

Geoff mentioned another attribute which contributes to effective leadership development, self-awareness. Self-awareness is the depth to which an individual knows himself/herself and recognises their skills, strengths, weaknesses & blind spots. Self-awareness is a high predictor of success.

RSVP Design’s Mystery Object exercise helped elaborate the concept of learning agility as participants worked on developing an innovative product idea for an obscure ‘mystery object’.

Within any organisation, collaboration, cooperation, and communication skills are critical for achieving goals. However, Graham emphasised that the opposite is encouraged throughout education. Children and young people are encouraged to work independently throughout school and university, so when they begin working, they are not as well equipped with the skills an organisation needs.

RSVP Design's experiential activities and exercises showcase different abilities and weaknesses at an individual, group, and organisational level, and what behaviours can be applied in order to improve and learn from.