Highlights from 2016:
Tahirih Michot worked with a team of public health staff at a municipal clinic (Albow Gardens) for over a year as part of a larger Health Service Design Project within the City of Cape Town. The project was funded by the Dutch Consulate through the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) and managed by Design Thinkers Group SA. The focus of the project was exploring the potential impact of service design and design thinking on the ability of the team to improve their service delivery. Two other clinics were involved in the project, Town II and Wallacedene. The process involved mapping customer and staff journeys, identifying an opportunity space, developing ideas into prototypes and eventually designing a service blue print to inform implementation. Significant changes within individuals, the team and clinic processes developed as a direct result of the facilitated engagement and use of design thinking tools.
A nine month programme designed to support improved team engagement was created and facilitated with the garden team at Babylonstoren. The programme supported team members design effective systems for communication, develop platforms for professional engagement, refine roles and responsibilities, develop tools to support feedback and co-create monthly plans. A sequence of facilitated sessions took place every 2 months and focused on topics which emerged from the process of engagement. The impact of the programme was profound - it resulted in improved levels of connection, engagement and leadership emanating from the participant's clarity and capacity to effectively communicate their ideas, create plans together and reflect on implementation. This process was informed by the principles of action learning and will continue into 2017.
Tahirih and Eric Michot travelled to Sainte Marie island off of Madagascar for the African Centre for Heritage Activities (ACHA). The purpose of the field was the co-creation of a sustainable heritage resource management plan for the local community. The field trip involved collecting stories from local residents regarding their heritage, finding out what is important to them and what they wanted to do about its preservation. Information was obtained through a workshop hosted at the museum on Ilot Madame and by conducting individual interviews during a 6 day period of time. The outcome of the journey was a collection of rich material from local residents telling their stories. These stories make a meaningful contribution to a sustainable action plan for heritage resource management on the island.
A customised learning solution developed in collaboration with The Touch Company, created to support leadership development at the One&Only Cape Town informed by the developmental needs of adults, experiential and peer-led learning. Elements of service design, coaching and action learning were integrated into the programme which focused on brand alignment in 3 areas of the hotel. Participants were intentionally selected from diverse departments and different levels of management to create space for team work, collaboration and innovation.Over a period of 7 months, 7 groups of participants worked together to create tangible change in the hotel. The impact of the programme has been a group of colleagues that are "activated, awake and connected to possibilities" within the hotel. The programme contributed to creating a new culture within the hotel, improved levels of engagement and productivity as well as developing strong inter-departmental collaboration.
Eric and Tahirih Michot designed and facilitated a bespoke professional development programme for the management team at Cape Cookies. The process explored a managers mindset, roles and responsibilities, implementation and overcoming challenges, building a team and communicating results. A team of 15 participants from all areas in the factory worked together over a 4 month period of time. They created meaningful connections, addressed team challenges and co-created an effective management strategy which built on the factors that made them successful.
The management team at Steenberg Hotel went through a bespoke 4 part programme designed and facilitated in collaboration with Linda d'Holt-Hackner from the Touch Company. The programme focus was on high performance management. It was a continuation of a team process started two years before. The content built and extended material that had been covered and deepened the team's capacity to implement their professional skills and understanding. As a result, the team emerged from the programme stronger and more connected than before. They had co-created concrete actions plan supporting team engagement, exceptional guest service and launched them for season.
A four part leadership development programme was created and facilitates with the management team at Fairview in collaboration with Linda d'Holt-Hackner from the Touch Company. The sessions supported the team as they addressed their concerns, developed a management vision, clarified roles and responsibilities and established agreements. As a result, the participants were developed a plan of action that supported a significant period of change within management and improved their ability to work together as an effective and unified team.
An intensive 6 day programme was designed and facilitated with Linda d'Holt-Hackner from the Touch Company for teams at Singita Lebombo and Sweni lodges in Kruger National park. The focus of the process was on supporting the management and F&B teams as they redesigned their systems to support the lodge expansion. Inspired by design thinking, an interactive and experiential process was created. Managers co-created train-the-trainer programmes for their staff while the F&B team developed new service level plans to ensure high quality customer service. The outcome of the process was rewarding for the whole team and resulted in meaningful changes that supported them through opening and beyond.
A new PDP train the facilitator programme was created and implemented with the economic development team at SALGA. This training programme was implemented to support SALGA's internal cacpity to roll out of a professional development programme (PDP) for economic development practitioners. The training programme was designed by Tahirih Michot and the programme was co-facilitated by Eric Michot and Linda d'Holt-Hackner. This training programme marked a significant milestone in the potential sustainability of the PDP for economic development practitioners.
A bespoke two day programme was created to support the team within Singita's Style & Design department prepare for the growth with Linda d'Holt-Hackner from the Touch Company. As part of this process, the team co-created a context for change, explored the factors that contribute to their success, identified the key elements of their communication DNA and emerged with an expansion toolkit. The discussions were empowering and the focus remained connected to what the team was committed.
Projects from the Past:
An intensive process of preparation was created and facilitated for the front of house team at Babel Restarant, Babylonstoren with Linda d'Holt-Hackner from the Touch Company. The restaurant had doubled in size and the team need to prepare for season with these changes in mind. They co-created new systems and procedures to support their ability to provide high quality service in the new environment. In the process, they found more effective ways to communicate, resolve challenges and make decisions. The programme took place in two parts, leading up to season and immediately afterwards to ensure the team consolidated the lessons learned and refined their action plans.
The food and beverage management team at Babylonstoren participated in a 6 month action learning set. Two groups of managers met each month to share their action plans and support one another as colleagues. In the process, they deepened their capacity to communicate plans, make decisions, reflect on their practice, build on successes and have a positive impact on their environment. The quality of their engagement significantly shifted together with their sense of personal and collective accomplishment.
Tahirih Michot, from The Idea Processor and Linda d'Holt-Hackner, from The Touch Company created a tailored 4 month leadership programmethat focused on proactive communication. The programme was designed and facilitated for a group of 30+ middle managers at the One&Only Cape Town. It supported individual and team development through an experiential process that was informed by the principles of adult development, action learning, action research and life coaching. The process culminated with participants taking plans and proposals for hotel improvement to Excom through a newly established platform for management engagement. This platform resulted in improved relationships, communication and collaboration between members of the whole management team as well as a range of practical interventions for the hotel. It was a great success!
Two separate programmes took place for the Steenberg Hotel team - one with the hotel managers and the other with the hotel front office but both looked groups focused on what a high performance team looks, feels and sounds like in their groups. The programmes supported the groups through a combination of action learning and group coaching that was informed by the principles of how adults learn best. The outcome was direct, tangible results which shifted the daily operations and relationships of team members in a positive and supportive manner.
The Foodbarn is a well established restaurant and deli in Noordehoek Farm Village. The business was changing and the management team came together to refine their systems and plans to accommodate the shifts in a proactive manner. During a 3 part process, the group explored what it meant to be a high performance team, clarifying where they wanted to focus their attention to address operational needs and ensure the growth was smooth and dynamic at the same time. The outcome was an inspired, unified group that was ready to move forward as a unified team.
Cape Brewing Company (CBC) at Spice Route wanted to to have their management team go through training that would support their ability to work as a team. Tahirih Michot, The Idea Processor and Llinda d'Holt-Hackner developed a 3 part programme that supported them achieve this outcome in an experiential manner. The team focused their attention on a group project they felt would improve their collective experience at work and worked together for the duration of the programme to make it happen. In the process, they developed their understanding of what it means to be a high performance team.
Overture Restaurant is an award winning establishment of Chef Bertus Basson. The business was expanding its operations and opening a new location, Bertus Basson at Spice Route. The team went through a 4 part process which supported their exploration of what factors contributed to their success at Overture that they could build on for the new venture. In the process the team clarified their vision, mission and core values. They went into the new venture feeling clear, focused and inspired.
A short audio-visual clip about a course Tahirih Michot, The Idea Processor, developed collaboratively with Phila Xuza (Centre for Small Town Regeneration) and Linda d'Holt-Hackner (The Touch Company). It is an innovative professional development programme for economic development practitioners in South Africa based on experiential peer led learning. It was researched in 2010, piloted at Aspire in 2012 and has been rolled out to 4 provinces in 2014/5 through SALGA.
A 6 month professional development programme (PDP) for economic development practitioners took place through SALGA with a group of municipal officials in the KwaZulu Natal from October 2014 to February 2015. Tahirih Michot, from the Idea Processor was a lead facilitator and course developer for this programme. She co-facilitated with Linda d'Holt-Hackner from The Touch Company. The team was joined by Phila Xuza, the peer presenter around which the course was developed. The impact of the course on the participants was dramatic, shifting the way they perceived themselves as individuals as well as professionals working in the field of economic development.
A special 2 day programme focusing on "Advocacy and Results" took place in the Western Cape for Local Municipal Officials and Councillors through SALGA.The course was one part of a larger 6 part professional development programme (PDP) for economic development practitioners. Tahirih Michot co-facilitated the session with Linda d'Holt-Hacker and Phila Xuza presented. The focus was identifying a recipe for success based on the participants personal experiences in the field and in their own lives. At the end of the 2 day programmes, there was a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm about the longer PDP course.
A 6 month professional development programme (PDP) for economic development practitioners took place through SALGA with a group of municipal officials in the North West Province from July to December 2014. Tahirih Michot, from the Idea Processor was a lead facilitator and course developer for this programme. She co-facilitated with Linda d'Holt-Hackner from The Touch Company. The team was joined by Phila Xuza, the peer presenter around which the course was developed. The impact of the course on the participants was dramatic, shifting the way they perceived themselves as individuals as well as professionals working in the field of economic development.
A professional development programme (PDP) was developed and piloted in 2012 in response to research conducted during the formal five year review of Aspire, the Amathole Development Agency in the Eastern Cape Province. Tahirih Michot conducted the research in 2010 as part of the five review process. The conclusion of the research was that there was sufficient material from the experience of the organisational CEO, Phila Xuza, to create a leadership programme which would be designed to support other practitioners working in the field of economic development. The pilot programme involved a group of CEO's from other economic development agencies in the Eastern Cape as well as partnering institutions such as SALGA and GIZ. The outcome of the pilot was extremely positive and a decision was made to develop the programme so that it could be offered to practitioners around the country!
The Eastern Cape Maritime Oral History Project focused on the collection of maritime oral histories for the geographic area between Port St Johns and the Msikaba River in the Eastern Cape Province. Tahirih Michot, project managed and was actively involved in the conceptualisation of this project through the African Centre for Heritage Activities (ACHA). ACHA envisioned this project as a pilot or first phase of a far larger community based heritage programme. During this project ACHA explored some of the forgotten, marginalised and ignored histories while investigating ways to implement economically sustainable, community driven heritage development activities. This project formed a template for SAHRA to implement similar projects in other parts of the country in the future, thereby increasing the depth as well as the breadth of our knowledge of the national heritage estate.
The exhibition was designed to be an installation of materials gathered during the ACHA Maritime Oral History research project in the Eastern Cape. The focus of the research was on maritime history and water, from the perspective of residents of the designated coastal area.
Janet Ranson was the professional artist that created the exhibition based on the research project findings. She researched different approaches for the accompanying exhibition, working on the premise that a single bold display has more impact than an overload of information. The sound track for this exhibition was created by Eric Michot, a music producer living in Cape Town.
The “Lake Fundudzi Management Project: Phase 1” was project managed by Tahirih Michot through the African Centre for Heritage Activities (ACHA). ACHA is a Non-Profit Organization based in Cape Town in Western Cape. The organization focuses on the extensive research and documentation of heritage sites located within the borders of South Africa so as to develop management strategies best suited for the heritage site or local people. It was a project that undertaken by ACHA through National Heritage Council funding. The project entails the production of a sustainable management plan for the proposed Lake Fundudzi National Heritage Site. In addition to this, the project produced recommendations for the development of tools and strategies for future site promotions and management activities.
On October 31st, ACHA hosted a round table event focused sustainable heritage resource management. A number of heritage industry practitioners joined the event and actively participated in the discussions that took place during the morning. The purpose of the event was share ACHA’s experience during the recent Lake Fundudzi project. Lake Funduzi was declared a National Heritage Site for the country by SAHRA and it was important that such a declaration was supported by an effective management plan. The purpose of this event was to explore the potential implications for sustainable heritage resource management based on the project findings and the experience of the project team during the process and to make recommendations for the site management going forward. ACHA released their first organisational publication at this event which shared the project research findings. Tahirih Michot handled the event conceptualisation and management.
Tahirih Michot designed and implemented a tailored 2 day strategy facilitation process with Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRI) in Cape Town. The process provided space for team members to reflect on the current state of play and look for opportunities to collaboratively improve and refine the organisational strategy going forward over the year ahead.
Tahirih Michot was commissioned by terre des homes schweiz (tdh-ch) to assess Humuliza, one of its long standing Tanzanian partner organisations and provide an external evaluation of the organisation. Humuliza is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that was established in 1997 to provide psychosocial support (PSS) to orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs). It is situated in Nshamba Ward, Muleba District in the Kagera region of Tanzania. Since its establishment in 1997, Humuliza has grown from an experimental pilot project into an internationally recognised pioneer in the use of PSS to support OVCs. It has developed a range of programmes, training materials, training manuals and models for supporting OVCs in holistic and meaningful ways.
Tahirih Michot was involved in conducting research for an external evaluation of the Y2Y (youth to youth) replication programme has emerged out of a much larger programme and process within terre des hommes schweiz (tdh-ch). The Y2Y replication programme was a second phase of the Y2Y programme, a youth capacity building programme that makes use of the Solution Focused Approach (SFA) within Southern and Eastern Africa.