A short creative workshop – designed to help you move in(to) leadership.
What is time? How do we spend our time? How to get the most work done in the shortest time is a crucial question for companies. My workshop explores that question in a creative way.
By Mette H Kirkegaard (MA in Rhetoric) – writer, musician and move´n yoga instructor.
I have developed the skill of moving people with my words and music and with more than 2,000 hours of yoga and 500 hours of 5Rhythms dance experience, I was suddenly invited (without any time for preparation) to deliver a workshop in creative leadership. It was great fun and such a success that I’d like to tell you about it and, hopefully, repeat it one day.
We are in a large room, in groups of four or five. One woman is sitting. Another starts to move just her elbow. The music begins. People move their bodies in their own time and way. They move around this big, grey, empty industrial space until the music stops and a new lesson starts.
This first experience of working with people in leadership positions was at the Welfare in the Making Conference, an innovative initiative led by Public Entrereneurship, New Movement, Copenhagen Business School, CBS. The 25 adults I guided through movement, rhythm and time all held management positions in different companies. Through this workshop, our movements introduced us to each other in a new way. The participants gained an insight into the rhythms of life through dance and developed an awareness of how our feelings about the perception of time can differ.
Participants were introduced to the 5Rhythms movement developed by Gabrielle Roth. This inspires people of all ages, myself included, to be more open to life and, in this case, our understanding of time. We all danced our own steps which unfolded within five rhythms. In the workshop, participants could move all or just some parts of their bodies – a dance wasn’t expected, just movement.
I asked someone from the group to share a task that was urgent to them. One female particpant mentioned a problem centred around time – having enough time for her job. Next, I asked the participants to move to five music rhythms while being more aware of time.
The music followed a group – people found that time is more than ‘time’
I used Roth’s rhythm ideals as inspiration for the group. However, the way I applied the rhythms to is different from dancing rhythms. It’s disruptive. For example, only one group received music that directly fitted the rhythm. Buddha Bar music. During the workshop, I used a mix of modern classical, house and new age rhythms. One group had the music that works best with the movement called flow. At the same time, other participants had different sounds yet had to move to the same rhythm. It seems disruptive and does present a challenge to the brain.
After their movements, each group discussed what associations they had experienced through the dance. One participant mentioned: limitation / restriction. Another thought about the sky while a third realised that time is different from hour to hour throughout the day. The discovery of how differently we perceive time led the participants to discover that there are several ways to go about their leadership roles.
The creative leadership path is a good way to step out of comfort zones such as, for example, when a company wants a shift away from fixed ideas about processes. Movement creates curiosity and new ways of achieveing company goals. Going to work becomes more conscious.
The participants concluded that time is so much more than ‘time’.
Here´s what one participant said about experiencing curiosity and everyday management:
“It was both disruptive and emergent at the same time, setting small and big thoughts in motion. One of the effects arising from the welfare action day, “Creative Leadership” (Mette Kirkegaard) was a recognition.
When challenged a little, the body’s movements moved to a frontier between conventionally-bound social performances, and more aesthetic / playful performances (into the disruptive and emergent field).
These movements can create a new amazement or a potential awakening.
(The next associations were in the same direction as Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘Blockhead Hans’ and the word, serendipity.)
And … basically all one needs is to be able to breathe and to have a body that can be moved (which is presumably easier said than done for many leaders.”
– Marcelo Ibanez, Deputy at the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences, Metropol
To find out more about this course:
Mette H. Kirkegaard