Anna van der Aa

People Rock Innovation

Anna van der Aa is an innovation coach and facilitator, who gets excited by the power of visual thinking and metaphors. Anna believes that People Rock Innovation, and loves helping individuals and teams discover creative ways of bringing clarity, alignment, and progress to their projects.

X steps forward, Y steps back – the journey map of a change maker

Helping an organisation through any kind of transformation process is a fascinating challenge, exhilarating at times and downright frustrating at others. Anna will share some of her experiences ushering in change at a large organisation while developing complex B2B software for managing intellectual property, and invite us all to consider the ups and downs in our own stories as agents of change. What to do when the going gets tough?

This talk should appeal to thought-leaders, change-makers, and anyone else involved in the important task of transforming organisations.

Workshop—Exploitation and exploration – the skills we need for confidently navigating both certainty and uncertainty

Whether we are responsible for people, processes, or products, we are typically expected to produce operational excellence. Whatever it is – make it better, cheaper, faster, etc – maximise profit, minimise cost. This approach (exploitation) makes sense in stable times and predictable situations. A more investigative or agile approach (exploration) is necessary when things are less certain, since knowns and unknowns cannot be managed in the same way. For some of us, taking a more exploratory approach may feel counter-intuitive and uncomfortable. We might even instinctively try to rigidly control what is happening when flexibility and creativity might serve us better. Others might naturally be more comfortable with ambiguity and struggle locking things down when necessary.

In this workshop we will consider what strengths and skills are useful in each context (exploitation and exploration). Using a storytelling approach we will identify and honour both our exploitative abilities and our exploratory abilities. Participants will have an opportunity to assess to what degree each of these skills have been acquired and whether any specific skills might need strengthening in order to be able to navigate any context with increased confidence.