Tirian’s programs involve the deliberate use of action events and facilitated reflection to bring about lasting change and learning. Tirian doesn’t just provide training, it also educates.

Conference/Keynote speakers

A keynote is like a light – designed to inspire, engage and motivate. Conference/Keynote speakers are expected to have originated the material they are talking about, AND/OR done the sporting/adventuring/political achievements they recount. They can present their material in an interesting, engaging, and stimulating way, reaching cynics and interested people alike. For this reason, keynote speakers’ fees are higher than trainers’ fees. Numbers are generally unlimited, time is short (30-90 mins). Keynotes can combine interactive simulations.

Workshop

A workshop is more of a window to the world – to look outward, to see best practices and new ideas. Numbers are limited & based on outcomes, to ensure results. Time is longer (1/2-few days). Workshops can combine interactive simulations.

Facilitated Online Experiences

A session like this should not just be a transferred talking head, nor just a transplant from the face-to-face workshop. It should be carefully re-designed to be a full engagement using all the available tools such as: planned chats, breakout rooms, gamification, surveys, polling, simulations, collaboration canvases, and action-reflection. It can also blend with the option of ‘pre’ and ‘post’ self-paced online learning through a learning platform (pre-reading, videos, reflection and post-action planning follow up and summary of key points + assignments and coaching as relevant).

A webinar is more of a one-way delivery to replace a face-to-face live keynote). A webinar can take larger groups.

Business facilitation & coaching

This is like a mirror – allowing the group (or individual) to reflect back, strategically plan & set goals.

Blended online learning

This is like an ecosystem combining all of the above – allowing a flipped classroom & self-paced learning. This can be stand-alone, or complement any core sessions. It can include pre and post self-paced online learning through a learning platform (pre-reading, videos, reflection and post-action planning follow-up and summary of key points + assignments and coaching as relevant).

Facilitators

Facilitators provide stimulus to encourage the group to discover the answers. Since reflection is the key to deeper learning that leads to more lasting change, anything that a “facilitator” does to enhance reflection before, during, or after an experience is called “facilitation.”

The central purposes of facilitation are to:

  • enhance the quality of the learning experience,
  • to assist clients in finding directions and sources for functional change, and
  • to create changes that are lasting and transferable.

Facilitators need to be very skilled in working with group dynamics as what they work with is “live” and “fluid”. They need to be able to deal with difficult people and win them over to positive participation.

Facilitators can present formally from out the front, but where possible would prefer to keep the environment conducive for self-discovery – such as using experiential learning methods. Good facilitators can still bring audiences to self-discovery from out the front formal presentations, by the way they construct their presentation and the methods they use. Good Facilitators educate.

“Education” implies that the learner has developed an understanding of the issues or principles and acts deliberately on the basis of these because they have become committed to them. For this reason, facilitators fees and experiential learning programs are higher than trainers fees.

Trainers

Trainers refer to existing material or tell you stories about other people. Thus trainers must be good communicators and perhaps technical experts but are not originators or the source of their own knowledge. Training is about developing a specific skill set, imparting knowledge. (Education is about developing skills for ongoing learning and inquiry). Training teaches people what or how to do something with little understanding as to why it is the case. For this reason, trainers’ fees are the lowest of the categories.

What is authentic learning?

Learning is a change in the way we feel, think, or behave. When we are aware of the change, when we intend to make the change, and when the change is maintained over time, then our learning has been conscious, deliberate, and lasting. Unfortunately, and all too often, attempts to learn or change are prevented by a lack of reflection (defeating awareness), the presence of resistance (defeating intent), and many barriers to supporting transfer (defeating maintenance).

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is founded more on the active doing rather than the passive being done to. In this way, people practice the very skills they are learning and are more likely to maintain their change back at work. Experience-based learning becomes “experiential” when elements of reflection, support, and transfer are added to the base experience.

What is Debriefing?

In Debriefing, facilitators ask clients for their opinions and refrain from making statements to clients. In this way, clients learn to think for themselves and begin to take ownership over confronting issues (educational programs). If they “own” their issues, they are more likely to commit to changing the situation and to follow through on their commitments. In a debrief discussion, clients are asked (under the guidance of a questioning facilitator) to reflect on their experiences and to discuss points of learning that they believe took place.

What is the real value of Simulations and Gamification?

Using Simulations and Gamification, unique methods of input “practice fields” or “virtual worlds” can be created that enable participants to see:

  • Issues that arise in the workplace over a long period of time can be isolated and focused on to see more clearly the consequences of particular actions.
  • Incidents that occur very rapidly can be examined in detail to study more carefully.
  • Actions and attitudes that cannot be reversed or taken back in the real world can be re-tried countless times in a protected environment.
  • The complexities of the everyday working environment can be simplified and analysed.

What is the outcome of the different levels?

Good: Explore

Designed to change the way people feel (to entertain, re-energize, relax, re-create, socialize, teach and learn new skills) & the introduction of ideas.

Better: Examine

Designed to change the way people feel and think (to gain awareness of needs, to add knowledge of new concepts, to understand new ways to look at old or familiar concepts).

Best: Extend –deep dive options

Designed to change the way people feel, think, and behave (by increasing positive functional behavior, by improving interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships). Business facilitation / consulting / strategic problem solving.

Can you show me an example? (and why should we pay more for this?)

A company uses group problem-solving tasks at a conference to make attendees happy and to get them mingling (recreation). The company uses similar tasks to demonstrate the value of teamwork and to introduce their new team strategies (education). Once the benefit of teaming is evident, the company uses problem-solving tasks to actually build new teams (development). Lastly, one group is not getting along very well–they withhold information, sabotage change efforts, and distrust one another–so the company uses similar tasks to help them become more effective in their work (redirection).

Good better best

NOTE: In these examples, the facilitation methods used to introduce and reflect on the experiences (not the action events) are the instruments of change.

Basic team activities

This is mainly just fun recreational team-building “activities” where the experience of being together & doing an activity, provides a fun team bonding experience. This type of program is designed to let the experience speak for itself, where clients are left to sort out their own personal insights. This approach is fine, provided that identified or prescriptive intrapersonal and interpersonal goals are not sought. Clients may well have a good time and possibly become proficient at new skills, but they are less likely to have learned anything about themselves, how they relate with others, or how to resolve confronting issues in their lives. In letting the experience speak for itself, a facilitator would not look to add any insights regarding the experience when it was completed. If any comments were made, they might pertain to how much fun the experience was and encourage the group to move on and try the next event: “That was great! Good job! Now let’s try something new and different.”

Intelligent team building 

Designed to bring about an outcome (Engagement, Communication, and Leadership, etc. ) that will change the way people feel, think, and behave– to entertain, re-energize, relax, re-create, socialize, teach AND learn new skills.

ITB makes use of careful design & framing, leading to genuine debriefing. Facilitators ask clients for their opinions and refrain from making statements to clients. In this way, clients learn to think for themselves and begin to take ownership over confronting issues (educational programs). If they “own” their issues, they are more likely to commit to changing the situation and to follow through on their commitments. In a debrief discussion, clients are asked (under the guidance of a questioning facilitator) to reflect on their experiences and to discuss points of learning that they believe took place. The discussion can take a free form and shift from topic to topic as the group needs or can be prescribed or “funneled” in a direction that the facilitator determines is best. This latter type of debriefing is called funneling, where questions are carefully sequenced toward an outcome..”

  • Adapted from & with permission ‘Effective Leadership in Adventure Programming. Campaign: Human Kinetics’ .Priest, S. & Gass, M.A. (1997).

We love to use our corporate & educational experience for Corporate Social Responsibility & support NGOs and the NFP sectors.

In 1986 we founded what became Tirian. It all started in the NGO/NFP/Education sectors, developing resources and teaching them across a range of sectors including students at risk, drug education to tribal groups, and a full K-12 health education curriculum. Our work in these areas inspired many of the programs we design today.

For over 3 decades now, we have researched, designed and delivered long-term innovation culture solutions for a number of not-for-profit organizations, including directing a one-year project working on innovative solutions for a government project that supports impoverished farmers with improving agriculture techniques in Indonesia, coordinating strategies for refugee organizations to overcome challenges internationally, and producing a health curriculum for more than 25 million teachers and students in India.

We have left some legacy with our adult daughter now taking up the calling – who has tirelessly worked advocating for refugees, including getting children out of detention centers (Chil-Out).