This morning while walking from my car to the venue of my Decision Making workshop I was bitten. The creative bug got me right on the topic I'd spent half an hour prepping this morning over breakfast (no, not last minute creation, but last minute 'putting my head in the right space'). The topic I'd prepared was a case study examining decisions made during a fire on the HMAS Westralia that killed four sailors.
The creative bug was of the 'keep it relevant' variety. My audience are not sailors. They are not with the Navy or any branch of the armed services. They do not work with fire. They are at a very low risk of being exposed to sudden and fatal fire in any aspect of their lives. Westralia is not relevant.
I helped to set up the room; and before turning on the projector I 'hid' the slides I'd created on the Westralia, including a great photo of the ship at full steam ahead. And I created a slide that said:
Universities are becoming “dual sector”. As members of the University Council, you are considering whether to become a combined University and TAFE.
How will you decide?
This topic is relevant at Central Queensland University, and it is current (as noted by the Vice Chancellor, Scott Bowman in his blog). The participants are 'emerging leaders' at the University.
I asked the participants to work in table groups and answer the question on the slide, and they went for it. As I hoped, they discussed process, risks, culture, stakeholders, decision making criteria and implementation challenges. We covered these topics during the session, and this became a cornerstone topic for the rest of the session.