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Episode 101

February 24, 2021

101: How to facilitate process improvement – Human centred and data driven with Mark Whittaker

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    How much of your workday do you really pay attention to?

    From where you sit to how often you get distracted and what happens when you come back from a break, all of these moments that make up our days are automatic processes.

    What would happen if you could track and analyse the way you work?

    Dr Mark Whittaker does just that and uses the data he gathers to design human-centred processes that help teams work better than they ever imagined. Combining qualitative and quantitative data with facilitation, Mark’s software vFlow helps businesses optimise their processes by working with their people, not against them.

    It’s a fascinating marriage of facilitation, data, workshops, and processes. You can learn all about it in this episode of workshops work.

    Find out about

    • How chemical processes translate to business and commercial processes

    • Why opinions and data usually show very different versions of our ‘most important’ processes

    • How our processes change unconsciously throughout our day

    • Ways to manage your workload and protect it from unconscious slips

    • Why the thought of freeing up more of our time can actually scare us

    • The beautiful neutrality in challenging data, not behaviours

    • The importance of listening, as well as observing, when gathering data

    Don’t miss the next show: sign up to my newsletter and subscribe to the show through your podcast player.

    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

    And if the idea of NeverDoneBefore 2021, the festival of facilitation and Digital Resonance, caught your attention; why not explore it in more detail now?

    Questions and Answers

    01:07When did you start calling yourself a facilitator?04:37Can you explain what v-Flow is and does?06:28What have you learned about business processes from chemical processes?08:20Is it possible to find the optimal business process when there are so many variables that need to be considered?11:32What is the process behind your data collection process and how you decide what to focus on?13:16Why is there so often a difference between what we think is our most important process and what the data shows us is our most important process?18:03Can you share an example of identifying unconscious/automatic ways of working?21:21 Is the energy we spend changing automatic habits worth the end result or can it create problems?27:19How do you bring the data you collect into a workshop setting?28:28How do people react when they see the story presented in the data?33:21This information can be like opening a Pandora’s Box – how do you handle that?38:19Can data that is about people truly be neutral? Is there not some emotional reaction that comes with it?40:07Can you share an example of gamification in practice?45:45How do you encourage comfort and relaxation in a closed-off room?47:52What makes a workshop fail?50:43Has debriefing become harder in the age of remote work?52:27What is the one thing you would like listeners to take away from this episode?

    Connect to Mark