Collaborate was established in 2015, with the purpose of supporting organisations through growth and change. Over the last 6 years, I have had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of businesses from one of the UK’s largest universities to a local manufacturing business. Having been a Lumina practioner for over three years, I love having the opportunity to work with organisations who are passionate about growing their people and their teams.

Return on investment is clearly something which every business considers when making decisions on how to spend their money. Investment in people is often seen as more intangible than in plant or machinery, harder to justify and to see the return. And when COVID 19 hit, these questions became all the more important and relevant. Investment decisions needed to be more robust and the impact more widely felt. We always want to feel as if our money is invested well and to see a tangible return.

COVID also defined a very different delivery model for development practioners; working in a virtual space. Whilst for some this has been a revelation, allowing us to embrace new technology, for others, the inability to work alongside colleagues has proved challenging. How do you develop a programme which reaches as many as possible and for as long as possible?

Whilst working in the corporate environment, I undertook a number of psychometric profiles (none as good as Lumina Spark!) and my over-riding memory was that the day was fun, we learnt about ourselves and each other, joked about it a bit afterwards and then stuck the report in the desk drawer, never to be seen again. You would find it again when it was time to move office or when you were having the annual clear up. It wasn’t dynamic, engaging and arguably not value for money.

As a result of the way that Lumina Learning has developed, your Spark need never to too far away. The Splash App supports long term self awareness and engagement with others. It starts conversations, generates debate and enables delegates to continue to delve into all aspects of their personality.

It was important to me that my delegates never went away and did what I did all those years ago; put the portrait in a drawer and not learn and reflect as a result. Lumina Spark is so engaging and dynamic that this is less likely to happen, but I then started to work more in the virtual space.

It is probably important at this point to see my Splash; all becomes clearer.

My extraversion has been impacted significantly as a result of COVID 19. Not being as sociable and demonstrative has been difficult and delivering online more challenging. However, this is not about me but about my delegates but it got me thinking. How can I continue to influence the positive experience of the Lumina Spark workshop long after the event? How can I engage across all 8 aspects? How can I ensure that everyone gets the absolute most out of the experience.

As a result, Collaborate developed Long Life Lumina, amalgamating a number of the existing Lumina tools, with some developments of our own.

Long Life Lumina enabled me to offer even more value to my clients along with solving a problem I had been dealing with for a while. My face to face workshops were always really busy. There is so much content that quite often I would struggle to get it all in. I always wanted my delegates to go away as empowered as they possibly could be to make a change for both themselves and their organisations. What to include and what to leave out was always my dilemma.

When the offering moved on line last year, clients felt that long sessions in the virtual environment was not the way to go and I agreed with them. Keeping up the energy levels and engagement were my key drivers and more than 2 hours seemed too much for many people. We can always restructure; a larger number of smaller interventions but how could I ensure that people continued to work and develop their own understanding and bring their team members along with them, from the comfort of their own home.

Using all of the existing materials and some of the new developments from Lumina, I now offer a series of interventions which can be completed remotely. Having everything at my finger tips from the Resource Library through Brandfolder, I started to build some additional tools. Supporting the continuation of use for the delegates, along with introducing new elements which were not covered in a workshop due to time or logistical constraints were paramount.

It also allowed some of my more creative characteristics to shine through (go back and check the Splash!). One of my personal favourites is the Haynes Manual of Me. For those of you unfamiliar with Haynes, they develop car manuals for practically every car which has ever been produced. How to do the simple things like change a bulb to the more complex replacing a radiator. So how do you get the best out of me as a person?

You need to understand me better, so here is a manual as to how to do it. What are my communication preferences, when is a great time to bring me an idea, what am I like first thing in the morning, how do my over-extensions manifest themselves, what would you see or hear. The great thing about this approach is you can tailor the manual to the clients needs; what was important to them during the sessions.

Using the Splash App, the exercise of Meet my Opposite can be introduced. Working with the QR codes that they have already shared, during a live workshop breakout room, ask the delegates to spend some time with someone who is opposite to them. How do they structure their work, what communication style works for them, what winds them up.

The list is endless really. Thanks to the developments and innovation of Lumina Learning during lockdown, delegates can now have access to Spark Coach and the opportunities here are just amazing. With the release of the online version of Journey to Composure, clients can now have those incredibly in depth and sometimes deeply powerful conversations to support colleagues when they need it most. The virtual environment acting as a catalyst for support.

I am currently working with Burnley College who are piloting Long Life Lumina. They are currently in the midst of a programme which will take them up to the start of the summer holidays. The education sector has needed to be innovative, supportive, creative, proactive and reactive all at the same time over the last 12 months in the UK. The Principal recognised that the team would benefit from some time to reflect and develop; look forward with clarity and a renewed energy. However, I needed to take into account the environment in which they had been operating and too much at once might be over whelming.

Long Life Lumina answered not only a lot of my questions, my needs for delivery but also and most importantly, that of the College. Getting the full benefit in a way which supported them.

Delivering the activities has enable me to consider different technology and styles of input to support all preferences, from video to simple documents, manuals of me to hats of different colours in meetings. I have found that I am not only learning more about Spark and all of its nuances but a lot more about myself as well.

Commercially and fundamentally though, it shows that the investment continues to show its impact long after an event. It continues to engage and empower. It enables a practioner to share their skills and knowledge wider than I thought was possible. Hopefully it ensure that it never just ends up in a drawer.

Lumina Spark is for life, not just a workshop!