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The Experience Lab - Review of 2020

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

As I’m sure most organisations in Western Australia did - we took a bit of an enforced break in March through July - we kept busy though, delivering some of our courses online; added to our clients learning resources with interstitials and training videos; and we made some fun films about Zoom Etiquette to pass the time.

When we received a whole bunch of phone calls in mid-March and course after workshop after session was cancelled or postponed - we were heartened by everyone apologising so profusely and going on to make firm commitments to deliver as soon as it was practical to do so (including a session now booked for May 2022). We’re very lucky to work with the organisations we do, they understood what impact the shutdown would have on a small business like ours and we thank them for so graciously promising to revisit the projects later in the year. Those commitments really helped us believe that we would be able to return to doing what we love. These first few months of 2021 will see us continue to complete those programs and will see us catch-up nearly all of the projects which were put aside 10 months ago. This together with new projects coming on line from September meant we finished the year strongly and the year is already looking exciting. This past years highlights are a little more varied - here is a snapshot: CORPORATE PLAY & WORKSHOP DEVELOPMENT Ever more immersive learning environments were created to bring a variety of topics to life in the training room. Our dramaturg and actors crafted some wonderful corporate training workshops, most notably:

  • Communication - with an allegory of the Volkswagen emissions scandal of 2015 and reimagining all of the poor communication that may have occurred to end up where they did.

  • Values Induction - with the tale of humble bumblefly (a new inductee) joining a new hive (organisation) and making the most out of new opportunities.

  • Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Leadership - with the story of Kendall who isn’t quite ready for the twenty-first century and how they might need to adjust to create an inclusive workplace.

We also continued the story of Slugger in two variant second chapters of the Same Old Slugger program to build on the learning that participants gained in the first session.

CONNOR’S HARD WORK We launched our third workshop in partnership with EEO Specialists - Connor’s Hard Work - which focusses on disability awareness, inclusion and discrimination. We were so pleased that we could welcome 70 people to the launch event and are happy to see Connor already being booked throughout the year.

We also continued to present Much Ado About Hector and Larrikin or Larry Can’t across WA.

INTERSTATE WORK We delivered Larrikin or Larry Can’t in Sydney, a shame that planned trips to Melbourne, Alice Springs, a return to Sydney and a day trip to Geraldton were all postponed - I hope that we can travel and visit these places again soon.

SIMULATIONS We were fortunate enough to be asked to devise and deliver a number of workplace simulations where we were able to put participants and candidates to the test with both realistic workplace scenarios, and also alternate realities which tested their skill sets. These immersive training sessions take a lot of organising and tracking of moving parts, but they provide rich learning, immediate feedback and a great opportunity to reflect.

COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS MASTERCLASS We held two sessions of our masterclass series to share our insights into undertaking difficult conversations. As well as sharing our ideas, we showcased how we work and had many of our guests putting themselves in the hot-seat so they could take away some ideas about how they could tackle their own conversations back in the workplace.

VR LAUNCH Our Virtual Reality Unconscious Bias launch was a casualty of the lockdown. We will be looking to showcase this to you all soon.

TRAINING VIDEOS DONE DIFFERENTLY We were invited to bring our sensibility and creative flair to training videos across a number of organisations - using our actors and facilitators to craft engaging videos which didn’t look like every other training video out there. We had a great deal of fun finding new ways to engage on screen.

BINDI BINDI DREAMING Marisa from Bindi Bindi dreaming took the team out on an adventure in the Swan Valley and we learnt a great deal about Aboriginal culture and tried our hands at some painting.

UNDERGRADUATE ROLEPLAY Our team expanded late in the year as our commitment to assisting undergraduate learning, vivas, assessment and exams grew yet again. We were able to have teams of over 35 corporate actors all working in multiple locations at the same time to help students progress through their studies.

CURTIN RESEARCH We were invited to take part in research conducted by Curtin University into the effectiveness of experiential learning and roleplay on improving student outcomes. We look forward to sharing the results of the research with you later in the year.

PLANS FOR 2021 We’re currently deep in development mode and we will soon be announcing launch dates for the following sessions:

  • Creative Leadership - a new program exploring how to lead creativity in your role.

  • Working with Graduates and Apprentices - a hands-on event focussed on new ways to select your applicants, induct new team members and how best to prepare them for work.

  • Practical Presentation Skills - our Masterclass this year will focus on the skills required to present effectively.

We probably already knew, but the enforced retreat from the training room confirmed that we do our strongest work in the room face-to-face and so we were so pleased we’re able to do this. We’re very fortunate to be locked in a remote part of a massive island, and it’s only that good fortune that we find ourselves in a place where we can go about our work in near normality. We spare a thought for many other places in the world where what we do isn’t yet possible and may not be on the agenda for some time.

We’d like to thank all of those we worked with, but in particular Western Power, WesTrac, Curtin University, Department of Health, Murdoch University, AIM WA, North Metro TAFE, Perth Symphony Orchestra, BTP Group, Woodside, Keystart, RAC, CSBP and the cities of Joondalup, Bayswater, Fremantle and Kwinana.

This is just some of the work we do, get in touch to find out more or to customise a new training experience tailored to your needs. The Experience Lab is on a mission to provide engaging training to inform and educate for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

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