BeWeDō®, what’s it all about?
No egos, no Post-its, no bystanders… BeWeDō® is a unique motion-led experience for developing creative leadership skills in co-creation. It is about ‘thinking while moving’ — people moving, collaborating, co-creating — inspired by the Japanese martial art of Aikidō.
What kind of audience does it attract?
It’s for anyone and everyone, from students to corporates, from start-ups through to established businesses. BeWeDō generates creative leadership and encourages collaborative experimentation.
“I really enjoyed the experience of moving while discussing, and the
change in mindset this created for us. It made questions feel more
collaborative than confrontational.” (Adithi Pandit, Deloitte New
“BeWeDō added a level of respect that I haven’t seen in brainstorming
sessions.” (Sarah Hughes, Massey University)
Where did the concept originate?
Founder of BeWeDō® Mark Bradford made the move to Wellington from Melbourne to further his studies, on the plane ride across the ditch Mark joked to his partner “maybe I could do a PhD in Aikidō?”.
“I laughed it off because I didn’t think there would be a chance of doing that!”
During the process of researching the topic for his PhD Mark took up Aikidō and visited multiple Dōjō’s in the Wellington region, resulting in an epiphany. Whilst observing a class he witnessed an instructor handle a multiple attack scenario. The movements and actions reminded Mark of brainstorming in a creative process.
How does it help the creative process?
- It eliminates ego. Nobody is in charge and all participants share equal leadership authority.
- BeWeDō doesn’t rely on any physical resources, instead, it promotes collaboration and trust through a physical connection. So wheel out those whiteboards and leave the Post-its at the desk.
- There are no bystanders as all participants are expected to contribute equally. The inclusion of movement enriches conversations and gives everyone a creative voice.
“It’s a safe place to be creative… it’s a safe place to have a conversation and share your ideas” Mark
A quick glimpse of stage 1 (of 2 stages) from the Massey University COCA BeWeDō® Kenkyukai (research seminar 1) held in Wellington in 2017.
Marks top three advantages of BeWeDō® over traditional planning sessions.
- It offers a unique experience engagement where all participants have a voice and means of sharing their opinions.
- Traditional meeting or planning sessions tend to have a leadership hierarchy, often referred to heroic leadership. In contrast, during BeWeDō, leadership is developed within social interactions which put all participants on an equal levelling field.
- BeWeDō extends traditional design thinking by using the mind, body and the physical space. It’s an entirely active experience which promotes collaboration with everyone included not just the individuals you only usually interact with.