Designed by: Barking Productions,
PO Box 597
Bristol BS99 2BB
Phone: 0117 939 3171
The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) allocates government funding to research by UK universities and other organisations. The engineering team identified a training need in preparation for the forthcoming International Review of Engineering event. Although the team is already a high-performance unit, the staff wanted to enhance their teamworking skills and develop creativity, spontaneity and risk-taking.
An important part of the team's role is to encourage people in the research community to be bold and adventurous in their work, so it was important to nurture these qualities in the team. Developing cohesion and trust was vital to maintaining performance and team spirit as there is a high turnover of team members.
Barking Productions was asked to design and deliver a high-impact event that provided a challenging and creative learning experience.
For the international review to be successful, working together confidently and feeling equipped to respond to the needs of the research community were critical.
Barking Productions is a company of creative trainers and comedy improvisation performers. It believes that people can learn to demonstrate energy, expression and courage and become more creative, spontaneous and confident in taking risks.
Developing these very qualities was the challenge with the EPSRC team. The design of the training was informed by the fact that the team wanted to break new ground. Barking Productions' work also needed to dovetail with a training day to develop teamworking skills, run by training company JTS, which would take place the day before.
The activities and themes had to reflect the team's challenges in their day-to-day work and to take people beyond comfort and hierarchy into challenge and growth. Barking Productions designed an event combining: comedy improvisation technique, entertainment, story-telling and film-making in the form of a 24-hour film challenge entitled 'A Journey to Find the Elixir of Creativity within the Realms of Scientific Research'.
Exercises included dealing with the restrictions and demands of time, budget and stakeholders. Participants had to maintain creativity in the midst of pressure