Removing the myths about Olivier Mythodrama 

In the world of organisational development and leadership training, our approach is unique. We blend theatrical techniques with the practicalities of modern business. However, despite the fact we’ve been delivering training globally for over 20 years, there are many misconceptions about what we do.

Here we’re going to look at 5 common myths about our work, and shed light on what we actually do. By understanding our origins we’ll provide you with clarity around who we are, what we do and why our training is so effective.

By debunking the myths and highlighting the truth, we hope to allow you to understand our approach fully so you can benefit from our ability to unlock potential and deliver organisational excellence.

1. It’s all about Shakespeare

One common misconception is that all we talk about is Shakespeare. While we may be known for our Shakespeare related programmes, there is so much more to Olivier Mythodrama. Our unique approach combines the timeless wisdom of stories with the practicality of modern leadership development.

Let’s start with a bit of background. Olivier Mythodrama was founded by Richard Olivier (son of actor Sir Laurence Olivier). Richard had completed a successful production of Shakespeare’s Henry V at The Globe Theatre and started experimenting with ideas around the concept of storytelling (Mythodrama) as a learning tool. Taking the educational aspects of a Shakespeare play and applying it in real life, Richard saw how many of the play’s themes overlapped with organisational development issues, so developed a programme using the play to understand how people can develop and change. That’s where our Henry V Inspirational Leadership Programme was born. Since then, we’ve developed further programmes that look at different themes.

So yes, we do use Shakespeare plays as case studies for some our programmes, as each play offers a unique story and a variety of leadership themes e.g., Inspirational Leadership (Henry V), Transformational Leadership (The Tempest), Influential Leadership (Julius Caesar), Culture Change Leadership (As You Like It), Courageous Leadership (Macbeth), Evolutionary Leadership (Hamlet), but it’s not all we’re about.

Shakespeare’s stories invariably contain a project, an objective, and a challenge to overcome. By creating a container for the story, we can take people on a journey. We’ve found that lecture style learning doesn’t deliver the necessary transformation and people’s imaginations need to be engaged with a story if they’re going to be transformed.

We also have programmes looking at Authentic Leadership, Leadership Presence and Storytelling which don’t involve Shakespeare plays. Plus, we provide Professional Coaching, Programme Management and Design.

And to put your mind at rest, we don’t ask you to do any acting, or dress up in green tights and wave a wooden sword around – sorry!

2. It’s All About Pretending

Some people think that our programmes involve pretending to be someone else or acting out a role without any real-world application. In reality, our methodology helps participants explore authentic leadership qualities and develop practical skills for use in their professional lives, so pretending to be someone else just wouldn’t work. All our training is tailored to the needs of the individuals and organisation, providing relevant, relatable and immediately actionable results.

Unlike traditional training programmes that rely heavily on lectures and presentations, all our programmes focus on embodied and experiential learning. By engaging participants in exercises, we facilitate a deeper understanding and integration of leadership principles into the real world. While our approach is engaging and enjoyable, our ultimate goal is to facilitate deep learning and positive change.

Many of our delivery started their careers as actors, but they’ve subsequently spent decades working in organisations developing people to be at their best. So we do use some techniques that our team have learned from their time in the theatre, but as we’ve said there is no acting or role play involved as it’s not a realistic or relevant way for participants to learn.

3. It’s a Quick Fix

The success of any leadership development programme depends on understanding the issues you want to solve.  We then work with you to design a programme journey that meets your current and future needs. We want you to see results quickly, but quick fixes don’t work for us.

We have found that our approach creates a stickiness, a lasting change that resonates with those who experience it. It’s often said that successful people never stop learning, and we believe that’s true. The best way to achieve long term success is to continue nurturing and developing, and for people to carry on this journey throughout their careers.

4. It’s Only for Senior Leaders

We do a lot of work with senior leaders, but our programmes are not exclusively designed for them. They can be valuable for leaders at all levels of an organisation, as well as emerging leaders and those aspiring to leadership roles.

5. It’s Inaccessible

There’s a perception that our programmes are only accessible to large organisations with substantial budgets. We do work with many large organisations, but we also work with smaller companies and charities. Our programmes are tailored to the needs of the organisation we’re working with and resources available so we fit in with what you need.

Olivier Mythodrama has been delivering innovative and thought provoking leadership training for over 20 years. The people and organisations we have worked with describe our training as life changing. We think they’re right. We already work with some of the world’s leading businesses. Are you ready to join them?

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