Co-Creation Skills

When a Partnership is Greater than the Sum of its Parts

Drawing on the collective intelligence, skills and knowledge of teams and communities makes it possible to create more value for all stakeholders. This is the basic idea behind strategies, such as user-driven innovation, intrapreneurship, cluster management, and growth through partnerships.

However, the outcome of such co-creation initiatives often fails or falls short of the potential that could have been realised. Far too often, participants prepare themselves for co-creation projects by formulating narrowly defined outcomes they will push for – before meeting the people they are supposed to co-create with. Such predefined outcomes lower peoples’ capacity to listen to each other in ways that allow them to capture and implement the true collaboration potential.

In this course, you learn the skills needed to optimise your ability to both participate in and lead co-creation projects. The course is based on research on collective thinking from MIT (Dialogue and Theory U) and on research on what managers can learn from collaborative art practices.

Methods

The course is an energizing mix of practical reflective exercises, short presentations of relevant research, and group dialogue. To ensure relevance, the course focuses on working with the participants’ own challenges.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify your strength and weaknesses in relation to co-creation
  • Develop a plan for practicing the skills you personally need to upgrade your capacity for participating in and leading co-creation sessions
  • Capacity to identify and draw on co-creation strengths in other participants.
  • Knowledge about how to draw on the collective intelligence, skills and knowledge of teams and communities.

Claus Springborg, PhD and lecturer at CBS

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour

Community Building

Grow the ecosystem within and around the organisation

Knowing how to build and preserve strong communities is a crucial leadership skill. A strong sense of community within the organisation enhances collaborative problem solving, reduces absenteeism. The ability to build strong communities around the organisation among customers and partners enhances loyalty, supports user-driven innovation initiatives, creates a customer-base for launching new products and services, and increases free word-of-mouth marketing. In this course, we look at community building through four different lenses: Community as brand, community as feeling, community as remix, and community as conversation. Each of these lenses highlights essential aspects of community building. The brand lens offers a design inspired and hands-on approach to constructing a community. The feeling lens offers deeper psychological insight often overlooked when using the brand lens. The remix lens encourages you to analyse other communities for inspiration. And the conversation lens focuses on the personal skills you need to sustain and engage with a community. Being able to use all of these lenses, will make you a more diverse and flexible community building agent. This course is a one-day course. If you wish to deepen your abilities in community building, look at the Organising Growth course.

Methods

The course is an energizing mix of practical reflective exercises, short presentations of relevant research, and group dialogue. To ensure relevance, the course focuses on working with the participants’ own challenges.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the nature of communities
  • Become more efficient in creating and preserving communities among employees, customers, and partners
  • Learn to link and analyse how physical settings and social rules and rituals can create (or destroy) community enhancing behaviour.

Claus Springborg, PhD and lecturer at CBS

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour

Organising Growth

Community Building, Co-Creation… and YouTube

In this course, we investigate how to manage growing organizations, focusing on the process of community building, both internally in the organization and externally among customers and other stakeholders, ecosystem development and user-involvement as growth strategies. During the course we also advance the necessary skills related to co-creation and to identifying possibilities for generating value for groups of people. We learn to translate knowledge of these processes into practice by applying them to the development of a YouTube channel. Working with YouTube offers a unique opportunity for students to gain new practical experience with innovation processes involving quick, iterative prototyping and co-creation. YouTube also offers an opportunity to increase one’s practical experience with community building and user involvement. Creators of YouTube channels, such as, Crashcourse and Epic Rap Battles of History have achieved both fame and economical success by building communities around their products. The course will unfold over six weeks, with 4-hour sessions meeting once a week. Participants will work in teams and engage in processes of user involvement and ecosystem expansion. Using different approaches to community building, they will develop their brand and product over time, refining their business model in relation to their growing community.

Methods

The pedagogical approach will be highly interactive, combining discussion with hands-on, experiential learning in the context of practical group projects. We will discuss course theories in the light of participants’ personal attempts to apply them in praxis. The course includes homework both in terms of reading and in terms of progressing the creation of the YouTube channel.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop co-creation capabilities mentioned in the course literature
  • Identify possibilities to test and evaluate ideas through prototypes
  • Identify and evaluate methods for community building

Claus Springborg, PhD and lecturer at CBS

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour.

What students at Copenhagen Business School say about this course

Embodying Leadership

Working with True Confidence, Courage, Inspiration, Empathy & Power

Different leadership ideologies encourage leaders to be confident, supportive, courageous, inspirational, empathetic, appreciative, and/or powerful. It seems obvious that possessing such leadership qualities will enhance a leaders’ ability to pursue both organisational and personal objectives effectively. However, enacting and embodying these leadership qualities, will, for many leaders, take a lot of energy and will, therefore, not be sustainable. Trying always to be confident or inspirational can be exhausting. Trying always to be supportive, appreciative, and empathetic quickly leads leaders to override feelings of frustration and anger and, in the long run, to various health issues. The reason it can be difficult to embody leadership qualities is that many of the ideas about how leaders should go about doing this are based on an outdated and inefficient understanding of the human mind and psyche. In this course, you will be introduced to a model of the human mind and psyche that is based on a fusion between old wisdom traditions and new cognitive science. We will explore the essential leadership qualities and the common misconceptions surrounding each of these. Changing how you think about the nature of leadership qualities will enable you to enact and embody leadership qualities with much less effort and in much more sustainable ways. The course will unfold over eight months with one whole day session each month. In each session, we work with one leadership quality.

Methods

The course is an energizing mix of practical reflective exercises, short presentations of relevant research, and group dialogue. To ensure relevance, the course focuses on working with the participants’ own challenges.

Learning Objectives

  • Enact and embody leadership qualities in effortless and sustainable ways
  • Identify and disengage from limiting, unconscious beliefs about leadership qualities 
  • Identify and disengage from inefficient ways of enacting and embodying leadership qualities – based on the above-mentioned beliefs.

Claus Springborg, PhD and lecturer at CBS

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour

Leading Dialogue

Conversations that improve decisions, productivity, and innovation

Conversations are at the heart of any organisation. When you improve the quality of the conversations that occur in the workplace, you improve the quality of every process. You will, for example, get higher quality decisionmaking, increased productivity, and increased innovation. Improving conversations is a matter of skilfully creating conditions under which conversation can flourish. However, different types of conversations need different forms of leadership. So, to improve conversations, you need the ability to recognise what type of conversation is happening and knowledge of how to lead each type of conversation to the next level. Creating the conditions for people to talk about the important issues instead of being stuck in politeness is different from creating the conditions for moving conversations beyond stubbornness, prejudice, or silo thinking. On this course, you learn to recognise different types of conversation and ways of creating the conditions that will move each type of conversations to the next level. You learn to use dialogue as a strategic tool that engages collective intelligence and mobilises energy for collective action towards realising organisational objectives.

Methods

The course is an energizing mix of practical reflective exercises, short presentations of relevant research, and group dialogue. To ensure relevance, the course focuses on working with the participants’ own challenges.

Learning Objectives

  • Create the optimal conditions for high-quality conversations to occur • Identify different types of conversations
  • Select and critically evaluate the effect of leadership interventions aimed at improving workplace dialogue • Use dialogue as a strategic tool to engage collective intelligence and mobilise energy for collective action toward organisational objectives
  • Identify your untapped potential for developing your ability to lead dialogue

Claus Springborg, PhD and lecturer at CBS

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour

Dealing with Stereotypes in the Workplace

A workshop for women in management

Stereotyping hurts both women managers and the organisation
Many women experience how stereotypic behaviours inhibit their status in the workplace, and their ability to progress their careers. Women can be overlooked for promotion and professional development, receive less compensation, and have their opinions ignored.

Stereotyping is not only problematic for the individual whose careers it affects. It is also problematic for the organisation who risk demotivation of their woman managers leading to them seeking alternative career paths.

Organisational policies and awareness raising initiatives are not enough
Attempts have been made by organisations to deal with stereotypes, but they are not working:

  • Some organisations try to implement policies to counter stereotyping and its negative effects. However, such initiatives do not tackle the underlying cultural issues and lead to disconnection between policy and practice on the ground.
  • Some organisations attempt to address stereotyping through awareness raising initiatives. However, even if managers in an organisation rationally understand the negative effects of stereotyping – stereotypes still persist as they are often ‘unconscious’ in nature influencing individuals’ daily behaviours and actions in practice.
  • Many women try to deal with stereotyping on their own by adapting their leadership style and public image to one they perceive to be more like their male colleagues. However, this can lead to challenges in organisational relationships and give women in management positions a sense of working with a permanent disadvantage.

To deal efficiently with the issue of stereotyping, policies and awareness raising are not enough, and neither is the emulation of male stereotypes by women. Women managers need tools they can use to deal with stereotyping and its effects both externally and internally.

In this workshop, Dr. Gillian Danby and Dr. Claus Springborg will help women managers connect with capacities they inherently possess, that will enable them to cut through stereotyping without having to modify or hide aspects of themselves related to their gender.

How do we do this?

We use arts-based method which draws on the idea that our thinking is fundamentally rooted in the body. The method was developed and tested with a range of management issues through the Ph.D. research of Claus Springborg and in dealing with stereotyping issues women face through the Doctoral research of Gillian Danby. Both the research of Claus and Gill was undertaken with experienced managers in ‘real world’ settings.

What you get from participating in the workshop

  • You will learn to deal effectively and efficiently with stereotypes in the workplace.
  • This can significantly increase positive self-view, self-belief and lead to increased self-confidence.
  • It can make it easier to open career paths and meet your career aspirations.
  • You will become part of a network of women managers with challenges similar to yours’.

Dr Gillian Danby

Gill held many senior leadership positions in the public health and public education sectors in the United Kingdom and Canada. She has extensive experience in social sciences research, leading organisational change, human resource management, executive coaching, facilitation, and the development of critical management skills. As an enthusiastic artist, Gill is passionate about embedding arts-based methods in professional development and management education programming. Gill is a publishing academic and bases her work on developing theories through ‘real world’ practice. In her work she values the individual, openness and trust, and having fun.

Dr Claus Springborg

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour

Disengaging from Inner Criticism

Personal and professional leadership development

Most people are familiar with the inner voice that tells you that whatever you just did (or didn’t do) is wrong. It is the voice that tells you not to ask a question at a meeting because it might reveal your lack of knowledge or skill. It is also the voice that after the meeting tells you that you are a coward for not asking. At first glance, the inner critic may seem to offer guidance and support. However, in effect, it mainly creates feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, and inferiority – without providing any real support in life. Inner criticism can prevent you from making important contributions to the organisation and from advancing your career. It can cause unnecessary worries preventing you from focusing on the work at hand. It can undermine your natural curiosity, drive, courage, confidence, and ability to connect and form fruitful relationships – all of which are important for leaders. The inner critic does not always appear as overt self-criticism. More often, it appears in subtler forms that are easily mistaken for “guidance”, “conscience”, or “realism”. Regardless of the form, the effect is the same. In this workshop, you learn ways to detect the inner critic and disengaging from it. You learn how listening to yourself and others in kind, compassionate and non-judgmental ways can unlock aspects of your own and other’s unused potential that has been blocked by inner criticism.

Methods

The course is an energizing mix of practical reflective exercises, short presentations of relevant research, and group dialogue. To ensure relevance, the course focuses on working with the participants’ own challenges.

Learning Objectives

  • Detect and disengage from the inner critical voice
  • Using kind, compassionate, and non-judgmental listening to understand how the sides of yourself and others that are targeted by the inner critic can be turned into potent resources.
  • Increase your sense of natural and relaxed confidence in your role as leader

Claus Springborg, PhD and lecturer at CBS

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour

Leadership and Emotions

Personal and professional leadership development

Leadership challenges that mid- or senior-level managers face are often not primarily technical or purely professional. They are often emotional and internal. Failure to recognize this can prevent leaders from dealing efficiently with such challenges and make them appear as far more complex and persistent than they are. When people either avoid a difficult conversation or rush through it without giving others time to react, it is rarely because they do not know what they want to say or because they do not have time. It is usually because they want to avoid feeling the emotional and internal states that arise during the conversation, such as anger, sadness, vulnerability, hatred, insecurity, guilt, or shame. Avoiding emotional and internal states makes leadership unnecessarily complicated. It limits dialogue and leads to unresolved conflicts, lack of trust, withholding of important information, silo-thinking, and ultimately poor decision-making, poor performance, and lost revenue. In this course, we will explore a range of emotions. We will look at common prejudice and misunderstandings related to each emotion and explore how embodying the energy of each emotion can contribute in its own unique way to your skill as a leader.

Methods

The course is an energizing mix of practical reflective exercises, short presentations of relevant research, and group dialogue. To ensure relevance, the course focuses on working with the participants’ own challenges.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop a deeper understanding of how different emotions can contribute to efficient action
  • Assess your comfort level with different emotions and identify opportunities for developing your capacity to engage with a broader range of emotions
  • Learning to navigate more efficiently in emotional situations

Claus Springborg, PhD and lecturer at CBS

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour

Solving Managerial Gordian Knots

Personal and professional leadership development

Most mid- or senior-level managers encounter Gordian Knots. Gordian Knots are problems with a significant, negative impact on the organisations’ bottom line, which persist in spite of the managers best efforts to solve them. You may already know what your Gordian Knot is. A sign that you are faced with a Gordian Knot is that you feel a particular problem is unnecessary and that it wouldn’t be a problem if everyone just did what they are supposed to do. You may believe the reason for the problem is that your fellow managers or employees are uncooperative, lack initiative, lack positivity or lack the ability to learn. Another sign that you are faced with a Gordian Knot is that you see an unsolvable dilemma where two essential objectives seem mutually exclusive or where pursuing a crucial objective seems inevitable to bring something harmful with it. Gordian Knots are not unsolvable. They only appear to be so. What typically blinds managers to the solution is their ideas about general leadership concerns, such as, confidence, commitment, collaboration, work-morale, motivation, freedom, strength, courage, appreciation, power, inspiration, and human nature. In this course, we draw on new cognitive science, spiritual traditions, and modern psychology to detect and change the ideas that obstruct managers from enacting effective leadership in their Gordian Knot situations 

Methods

The course is an energizing mix of practical reflective exercises, short presentations of relevant research, and group dialogue. To ensure relevance, the course focuses on working with the participants’ own challenges.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop the ability to assess when a problem is a Gordian Knots
  • Learn to solve Gordian Knots by becoming aware of, evaluating, and changing general assumptions about leadership concerns
  • Improve your ability to embody and enact leadership qualities, such as confidence, commitment, power, courage, inspiration, and appreciation.

Claus Springborg, PhD and lecturer at CBS

10+ years of experience teaching leadership and cocreation skills, management theory, systems of personal development, and entrepreneurship as an executive educator and as a lecturer at business schools across Europe. Being active as publishing academic, entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, I’m passionate about developing theories through practice and for practice. In my teaching, I value humanistic principles, precision, reflexivity, and humour

Book about how to solve unsolvable managerial problems

I have written a new book on how you as a manager can deal with those problems that on the one hand are important for you to solve, but on the other hand seems to persist no matter what you do. It can be very frustrating to be held back in your career by such problems. This book offers a practical and research-based approach to dealing with them.

The book is available both in hardcover and as (free) PDF for your e-reader (details below).

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