Happy 50th to Sesame Street...and Interaction Associates
Many amazing things happened in 1969!
Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin walked on the moon. Woodstock. The Beatles released “Abbey Road,” and performed as a band for the last time. The first Concorde test flight took off in France. The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was introduced. Bell bottoms and tie dye were all the rage.
And two amazing learning institutions started operating: Sesame Street and Interaction Associates.
For the last 50 years, Sesame Street has been helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. And Interaction Associates has been helping adults who work in organizations work better together.
Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?
Sesame Street was created to teach poor, urban, minority kids the same things that their wealthier, suburban counterparts were learning in pre-school, which was not widely available at the time. Studies have shown that kids who watch Sesame Street perform 16% better than non-watchers on standardized elementary school tests, read more, have better social skills, and better yet: they’re motivated to learn – a key life success indicator.
Sesame Street has filled a learning gap:
- It has helped teach educational basics, such as the alphabet and numbers, to millions of toddlers.
- Little kids believe that the Muppet characters are their friends, and they develop deep emotional connections to these friends. People learn from people they care about. Some of the show’s encounters have empowered kids to learn social-emotional skills that may not have been otherwise available in their lives.
- By taking a playful approach to learning, the show always appeals to the toddler set. It’s re-written the alphabet song countless times, keeping it modern. It’s always – GASP – fun to learn on Sesame Street! There is giggling, smiles and
One of these things is not like the other….
Realizing that most people don’t distinguish between process and content, Interaction Associates (IA) set out to teach people a collaborative meeting method that would help everyone in meetings think creatively and get important things done. The Interaction Method ™ was the first systematic way to run effective meetings since Roberts Rules of Order! Instead of win-lose majority rule, The Interaction Method ™ was a facilitated consensus-based type of meeting management, rooted in collaborative problem solving and shared responsibility for success.
That was 50 years ago! Since then, IA has taught The Interaction Method™ to over one million people around the world!
- Participants in IA workshops learn from each other and develop positive emotional connections. While the tools are research-based, we also take a playful approach to learning. Everyone pitches in to create a safe place to learn.
- IA program leaders practice what they teach (and preach).
They model collaborative behaviors as they guide the group through the learning journey. Having graduated from the school of hard knocks, they’ll tell a story or two about when they screwed up – so you don’t have to. They are also funny, skillful, and approachable.
- There’s lots of variety. Participants stay active and engaged. “We had a blast!"
Every program has a winning combination of group process design, relevant content, challenging exercises, videos, games, stories, and masterful facilitation. The program leaders provide specific and insightful feedback.
- Shift happens. Things look clearer. Life feels brighter.
Each participant advances to their next level of proficiency. They have many aha moments, times when concept and experience stick together to form a positive, indelible memory. Graduates are more confident, capable and primed to practice and perform.
Because of Sesame Street, millions of children received a playful and miraculous learning experience filled with lots of interesting and different friends. What would our lives be like without Big Bird and his neighbors on Sesame Street? Check out the first episode of Sesame Street and marvel at how much has changed since 1969.
Interaction Associates has also had a profound effect on millions of people who are now collaborative leaders, change agents and group facilitators. Our graduates say that their experiences with IA have changed the course of their lives and careers – and can’t imagine what it would be like without The Interaction Method™
Looking for collaborative solutions in your organization? Reach out to us today and learn more about how we can help you.
About Barry Rosen
The CEO of Interaction Associates, Barry consults with company leaders on how to empower people and teams to work across functions and other boundaries to get important things done. He leads the assembly of IA's collaboration tools and learning content, including programs on facilitative leadership, inclusive teams, and task-focused group facilitation.