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Episode 139

November 17th, 2021

139: Breaking (project) management and decision routines with Karen Schmidt

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    The building blocks of facilitation can be considered as quite practical, tangible things: workshops, agendas, exercises, timing, and tools. Underpinning these facilitation essentials, though, are intricate psychological and behavioural phenomena.

    This week’s episode is the perfect testament to that truth.

    Karen Schmidt – the founder of the international innovation community, ‘Over the Fence’ – joins me in this episode to discuss decision-making.

    In many organisations, decision-making can be more of a routine than a process. Stakeholders might be left out, partners might be disenfranchised, and the best decision might not be made. Easing the friction in and reliance on management routines to improve decision-making is Karen’s fascination.

    There can’t be many workshops work listeners who don’t feel the same way!

    Find out about

    • Exploring the integral role of alignment in any decision-making process
    • How to democratise our language and create alignment and unity
    • Why established routines can harm decision-making
    • How to identify and understand what decision-making ‘role’ we are occupying
    • Why it’s healthy to flex decision-making between detail-orientation and bigger picture ideas
    • Why decision-making, leadership, and ownership all tie in to the idea of taking and making space

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    Questions and Answers

    01:13When did you start calling yourself a facilitator? 02:20What got you into facilitation in the first place? 04:37What’s the story behind Over the Fence? 06:27What can project managers learn from facilitators? 08:13What is the mindset shift between being a project manager and a facilitator? 10:33What do you think most people get wrong about the process of managing a project? 12:41When you talk about breaking management routines, what do you mean? 14:55What makes it so hard for project managers to empathise with and speak the language of their teams? 16:03An example of catching unclear language and adapting a workshop accordingly. 21:58An example of catching unclear language and adapting a workshop accordingly.What makes a workshop fail? 26:34Who needs to be in the small group that makes a decision? 29:21Why do humans find it so difficult to make decisions? 31:50The three leadership roles, as illustrated in Over the Fence’s Decisions Hats card set. 37:19Exploring the Decision Canvas. 44:17Is there an organisational equivalent of ‘subsidiarity’? 45:59Announcing the free of charge card games – and the conditions for using them! 48:15Is there anything else you wanted to share that we haven’t discussed yet?

    Connect to Karen