In today's time of rapid change and a shift in our approach towards collaboration, it makes sense to apply design to the ways we work together, right down to individual meetings and workshops. How effective would your organisation be if every session was aligned to your organisational goals?
In today's time of rapid change and a shift in our approach towards collaboration, it makes sense to apply design to the ways we work together, right down to individual meetings and workshops. How effective would your organisation be if every session was aligned to your organisational goals? What would happen to your team’s productivity if each meeting was designed to get the best out of everyone, regardless of whether the meeting was in-person, remote, or hybrid? How much time would you save if every meeting and workshop was clearly defined, so everyone knew what they were doing?
In my new book, Making Workshops Work: Creative collaboration for our time, I explore what it takes for leaders to design workshops from an initial idea or brief, through step-by-step preparation to an engaging, well-run, and effective session, with agreed actions and clear follow up. Careful design thinking upfront makes it much more likely that each session will work well and achieve its aims.
Of course, before focusing on any particular session, it helps to have a good understanding of how people work together, which can touch on aspects of neuroscience, the psychology of groups, conflict, change management, learning, and inclusion. Workshop leaders themselves need to be able to function effectively in what can become stressful situations in meetings, when their fight/ flight/freeze response can kick in and reduce their effectiveness.
So, what are the steps in designing a workshop or meeting for collaboration?
To achieve your purpose, who needs to be there? You can also ask who should ‘not’ be there. Getting the right people to attend is an additional challenge, but this step means that the participant list is clear.
Once you have a good understanding of each of these, it is time for detailed preparation. Here, I give you six statements to complete. They are my Magic 6TM, which you can use at the start of your workshop to provide absolute clarity to your participants. Make sure that you gain their agreement, adjusting things if required before you proceed.
Figure: The Magic 6TM statements to use to start up a workshop, represented visually (used with permission)
Here are the Magic 6TM statements:
By using the Magic 6TM for your own preparation and design of your workshop, and then reviewing and adjusting them at the start, both you and your participants will be really clear. Along with careful design and planning upfront, this brings organisational design right down into the realm of day-to-day creative collaboration: meetings and workshops.
Storytelling is a key part of our shared human experience. It has long connected people across cultures and brought together groups who may seem like they have nothing in common, through tales of success and learnings. But what is often forgotten is the power of storytelling, especially in business.
"Busting the following myths-
MYTH 1: Work-life balance is key.
MYTH 2: Sustainable businesses cannot exist at scale.
MYTH 3: The customer is always right.
MYTH 4: Strategic pricing is complex.
MYTH 5: Failure is always bad."
Marginal behaviours, choices, and ways of life can be eye openers in their own right, even where they are likely to remain at the fringes. Never mind that the behaviours are seemingly confined to the fringes; there are entrepreneurs who believe there is scope for mainstream expansion and see growth where others see only issues, confusion or nothing much at all.
By focusing on both the needs of your customers, as well as those of your employees, you can ensure that everyone’s best interests are taken into consideration when making decisions or driving forward key initiatives within your organisation.
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