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    « Stop starting. Start finishing. | Main | Would Warnie play on your team? »
    Wednesday
    Jan302013

    The Anatomy of a Collaborative Workshop

    The 60 second timelapse video embedded on my webpage here captured a full day workshop I facilitated recently.

    But what was really going on?

    Have a second look or press pause and you'll see a number of things happened...

    Big Paper for BIG Ideas

    in the background against the wall there are long paper charts. I use these to graphic facilitate - that is, I facilitate the group AND capture the key content the group is contributing using words and images on the chart.

    You'll see a second chart to the left which I'm darting back and forth to at the start. I used this chart when everyone in the session was introducing themselves. This served as a great anchor for the participants to bring them 'into the room' and onto the story wall that was being completed during the workshop. 

    Talk and Do

    Throughout the workshop there were segements where participants were discussing in tables, contributing as a larger group and standing at the front of the room, reporting back from their table discussions. Keeping the variety going throughout the day is vital. We mixed up the table groups too - by the end of the day, there had been a real mixing and meeting of minds and views. 

    As groups reported back, I captured key points presented... knowing that we also had the more detailed content from the groups when needed. 

    Break Time

    When the room is empty, the teams are just outside the room, enjoying conversation, networking, food, refreshments and a change of 'state'. That gives people space to be alone, be in small groups, be in bigger groups, and space to think, talk, review, reflect, brainstorm, laugh and ... whatever!

    Standing

    It's important to structure your agenda so you do important work when the team is high on energy. The after-lunch slot in a workshop can be a little quieter (with lunch being digested!) so some standing, moving and quick discussions can help keep the interest, energy and engagement up. 

    Resources at the Ready

    The room was set up for collaboration. Tables for small group conversation and discussion and working on stuff. The tables had paper, markers and post-it notes to capture thoughts, information, ideas and discussions. There were blank walls, flip chart pages posted ready for use and markers available to capture visual thinking. 

    And there were yummy food resources provided on the tables - few sweet treats, mainly nuts and dried fruits and healthier energy choices. 

    Start & Finish

    The workshop featured a brief introduction by the sponsor of the event from the business and a wrap up of 'where to next'. I also talked through a review and summary of the content of the two large visual charts. 

     

    So if we pressed 'record' on your next workshop, meeting or conversation - how much variety, collaboration and creative engagement would the video capture? Think ahead and plan for your team sessions. My whitepaper 'The 7 Problems with Strategy and Team Sessions' is available for download further down the same page where the video is. It's got some hints you can get happening straight away when planning your next strategy session. 

     

    References (1)

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      lynnecazaly - Lynne Cazaly Blog - The Anatomy of a Collaborative Workshop

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