We have been running the Imagination Club for roughly 11 years, Jeffrey and I. When people ask us why we do it, they get all sorts of responses depending on our mood and current thinking.
What is true is that it gets us out of the house, it gets us connected to some super, good looking, intelligent people. We get to learn all sorts of fascinating things and most importantly we learn how (and how not) to hold a good workshop and, of course, are able to experiment with methods, techniques, ideas, content and people and provide a space for others to do so too.
The basic idea is that we give people a platform where they can experiment or run for the first time, a workshop of their choice. We definitely don’t allow slick professional sales workshops, the rawer the better for us, we are there to help strugglers, bounce ideas, share techniques, help prepare, give feedback and it works. The feedback people get is invaluable.
We have literally seen hundreds of workshops, good and bad and have become very comfortable speaking in front of people.
One of us opens the sessions and the other closes the sessions inviting feeback using three tried and tested questions that we travelled half way round the neighbourhood to discover.
Running the club has become second nature to us, and we often think about expanding it so that it becomes somewhat financially viable. Currently it is a hobby that pays for itself. Any money we have over at the end of a season goes back into the club for equipment (And we hold our yearly BBQ in sunny Erps-Kwerps).
The Imagination Club It is quite a popular idea, several people have left Belgium and started up an Imagination Club in their country, so far we have had clubs in Australia, Sweden, The Netherlands, and one is hopefully going to start in Nebraska U.S.A . There is talk of one in Dublin and somewhere in Canada. I would be very happy to see more of them.
The thing is, I would also love to be able to take the Imagination Club into the corporate environment.
People join clubs such as Toastmasters to practice their speaking, but presenting or running a workshop is a whole other ball game, and not everyone has the skills or had time to practice with good feedback.
There is be some real benefit to this, people could try new things out (or old things they have never tried before personally), they could practice voice techniques, how to frame things, how to get their idea across, try a couple of different ways of presenting the same info and seeing which comes across best or simply practice getting up and speaking in front of people (without a boss being present). It could be done in the evening or at weekends or lunchtimes or, gasp, even during the normal work day or at a team-building event.
Would your company like to try this out?
Contact me for more info and we can see how we can move this into reality.
GSM: +32 (0)496 27 39 05