What workplace needs and challenges can VisionMining workshops address?
Photography, as we use it, is a highly flexible tool that helps you explore—and respond to—many needs and challenges, such as:
  • Generating new ideas for products, services, improved efficiency, etc.
  • Understanding—and overcoming—people's natural resistance to change.
  • Transcending self-imposed limitations, e.g., "I have no creative aptitude" and "Generating new ideas is not in my job description."
  • Overcoming the fear of taking reasonable risks; finding benefit in mistakes and failures.
  • Infusing a greater sense of engagement, responsibility, initiative and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Stimulating greater use of right-brain qualities like imagination, spontaneity, and playfulness.
  • Understanding what "rewards" best promote creativity and innovation.
  • Strengthening teamwork, leadership, mentoring and other inter-personal skills.
  • Establishing a pro-innovation environment that runs organically through the organization.
  • Looking for useful and novel connections between seemingly unrelated things.
  • Benefitting from diversity of age, gender, specialty, etc.; avoiding a "silo" mentality.
  • Finding productive energy in transitions and conflicts, e.g., when merging different cultures.
  • Reducing the complacency or hubris that often flows from success.
  • Staying focused on strategic objectives; avoiding excessive attention to minutiae and short-term goals.
  • Paying closer attention to the needs of customers and clients.
  • Recognizing the value of incremental improvements as well as major breakthroughs.
Tell us the challenges that most affect you—from the above list or otherwise—and we'll customize a VisionMining program to fit your needs.

What is the difference between Change/Innovation workshops and Teambuilding workshops?
There is some overlap and some differences. Regular Change/Innovation workshops focus on various aspects of enhancing individual and team capacity for change and innovation skills. Each photo exercise is followed by extensive discussion about ideas and principles relevant to that objective. VisionMining Teambuilding, in contrast, focuses primarily on teambuilding; that generally means there is somewhat more team interaction and less in-depth group discussion. That said, each workshop is customized to address your objectives, so the title we give to the event is not really important...the substance is.

Who is likely to benefit from attending a VisionMining workshop?
Those in business, non-profits and government who need more innovation by broadening perspectives, appreciating the value of change, sharpening critical and creative thinking, enhancing teamwork and improving leadership skills.

Do workshops provide any "take-aways"?

Shortly after the conclusion of a workshop, we deliver a customized PowerPoint "slide show" that combines participants' images with ideas, thoughts and questions explored during the workshop. This PP reinforces the concepts from the workshop while stimulating further thinking. We can lead a post-workshop discussion, or you can do that internally.

In addition, at your request, we can anonymously survey participants to measure the "emotional pulse" of your organization as it relates to change and innovation. We can provide you with a summary of survey data as well as our evaluation of it.

Is a workshop a "stand alone" activity or is it part of an ongoing process? 
While workshops are designed to stand alone, they are of even greater value when there is follow-up activity that reviews the initial workshop's objectives and reinforces attitudinal and behavioral changes. Follow-on workshops can also include additional, customized exercises directed toward other objectives.

How long are VisionMining workshops?
We customize the length—from three hours to a full day—depending on your interests, needs and available time.

Is there an ideal size for a workshop group?
For a typical four-hour workshop, 10-20 is an optimum size, but we can easily adapt a workshop program for groups larger or smaller...or large groups can be broken up into smaller units and we can lead multiple workshops over the course of several days.

Does VisionMining provide cameras for workshops?
We use cell phone cameras; if a participant doesn't have one, we make the necessary arrangements so they'll have one to use.

Do you have a location preference?
Workshops can be held anywhere, but a "change of scenery" certainly helps open up participants to new perspectives. Working at a company retreat or at our historic, waterfront headquarters in Chesapeake City, MD is ideal, but we would be able to work at or near your office.

Are workshops dependent on weather?
No. Some of our exercises are customarily done outdoors, but can be moved inside if necessary.

Does VisionMining offer a presentation/keynote in addition to workshops? How long do they last?

We offer two very different presentations/keynote addresses. The first, entitled "Change and Innovation: Making It Happen In Your Workplace," explores techniques and ideas for enhancing change, innovation and teamwork. This presentation, which includes some audience interactivity, is illustrated with photographs taken by VisionMining President Steve Gottlieb and by participants from prior workshops.

The second presentation/keynote, entitled "25 Pictures/25 Stories," is a collection of Steve Gottlieb's personal anecdotes, illustrated with his vibrant photos. These stories contain messages about change, innovation, teamwork, motivation, character development and more...delivered with humor, heart and passion. (More details)

Both presentation/keynotes last 30-50 minutes. Q & A is optional.

How much do workshops and presentations cost?
We are committed to providing exceptional value to our clients. Let us know your objectives, the size and makeup of the group, and we'll work with you to promptly develop a proposal.
(Presentations and workshops are VisionMining's intellectual property; videotaping fees are extra.)

How do we reserve a date?
After discussing the scope of your customized VisionMining program, we'll then work with you on an appropriate deposit to reserve a date, and establish other payment terms.