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Hello Facilitators👋 I'm really curious about where everyone is from. I'd love to make this a mega post where we can see how diverse the Facilitator Club community is. Who knows, you might find a lot more people in your area than you thought! Once I have lots of answers on this post, I want to make a nice graph!
Hi team 😃 I wanted to say a quick hello! I'm really enjoying being part of this awesome likeminded group - so great to see loads of questions being asked that i've also wondered about! I also wanted to share a challenge i'm currently experiencing to see if it's something you talented people could share any experience on! So, hello! I'm Louis - i'm a London based Innovation Lead in the charity sector - i'm also a freelance innovation consultant and facilitator which i'm going full time with from May...which i'm very excited about! I am currently doing the Design Sprint and Facilitation Fundamentals course which i'm loving... Turning into something of an AJ & Smart super fan! 😁 Anyway, my interesting challenge..... I'm talking to a charity at the moment who want to run three workshops with businesses and government bodies on one big challenge which they've narrowed down to three separate territories/areas. The overall challenge is around getting businesses upskilling low paid low skill workers. One of the challenges sitting under this is how do we ensure businesses have the data they need to convince them upskilling their low paid, low skill staff is worth their time and investment. They have done a lot of research and insight work on this upfront to show why this is an important challenge to focus on. The approach they want to take is: - Run 3 separate 'co-creation' workshops on 3 separate (but linked) challenges to generate solutions. They want these to be c3 hours long with 25 people. This is with businesses and government bodies. - As they work in the policy world which are very accustomed to 'roundtables' - as far as I can tell this entails lots of chat, not much action and plenty of unstructured conversations.. 😑 - In my view as they are very complex challenges it would be more beneficial to engage a smaller amount of people for a longer amount of time and am thinking best approach would be more like a Day One of the Design Sprint with Expert interviews, Lightning Demos and Concept Sketching and if time permits prototyping and testing.
@Louis Childs What you could consider is doing the workshop in two 'phases' The first phase is larger / multiple small workshops with all the stakeholders where you collect input. The second phase is a tighter group of key participants (and a decision maker) that will take the input from phase 1 and use it to help inform / direct their decision making. Then you create a summary of the phase 2 sessions to report back to the phase 1 participants. It's probably a long way to a very similar result, but it will help you handle the concerns in a 'meet you half way' kinda way. What do you think? I've attached a quick sketch of what I usually draw on the board when a client really wants to add more people.
@Louis Childs Glad I could help, please let me know how it all goes!
Would love to hear from anyone involved in Design Thinking and how you apply it to facilitation. Curious also about the resources you have access to, courses you've learned from and any DT community you may be a part of (I myself am a part of IxDF). Do share!
Hi Daniel, Design Thinking workshops are very common, in fact the Design Sprint is derivative of Design Thinking processes. Michael Lewrick's Design Thinking books (such as the Design Thinking Toolbox) are a great resource for workshop activities you can run with a team during a design thinking process. You could also check out https://www.designkit.org/methods.html Hope this helps!
My absolute favourite icebreaker is called draw a duck, it’s as simple as it sounds. 🦆 1️⃣ Give everyone post-its and a sharpie 2️⃣ Give them 60 seconds to draw a duck 3️⃣ Have them all put their ducks on the whiteboard 4️⃣ Briefly review your ducks as a group. That’s it. I love it because it’s a quick and effective way to inject a bit of fun into the start of the workshop. Plus, it lowers the bar for visualising ideas later, showing that ability to draw doesn’t matter. Want to practice? Grab a post-it and drop a picture of your duck in the comments, then tag someone in Faciltiator club do the same! 🦆 I'll start us off in the comments! 👇
@Gabriel Campillo ohh the angle of the bill, very nice 👌
@Alex Eisenberg That duck looks like it's seen some things.
Hello dear friends, I would like to know what strategy or arguments you use so that companies hire services from external facilitators on a permanent basis. And not only when the company detects a specific problem to solve. Thank you.
That's a tough one! I don't know any facilitators who just get hired for long term hourly contract type work in the same way a consultant Designer or Developer would, because facilitation requires the participation of others in order to happen, you can't just sit at a desk and facilitate a workshop alone. If you want a long term work, you're probably better off positioning yourself as a change consultant or coach of some sort, rather than as a facilitator. Or at the very least identifying a long term challenge which will require them to work with you over an extended period of time in order to solve, though I suspect this'll be quite difficult to convince someone to buy. If you want repeat business, you should consider reoccurring challenges as a service, but my experience is that usually teams with a reoccurring need for a facilitator will eventually in-house that capability. Another tactic I've seen work quite well is to use facilitation as a differentiator for other consulting services that are more long term.
Sometimes when people hear the word 'icebreaker' they cringe or might feel super anxious about taking part in one. Yes, icebreakers can make you feel a bit awkward initially, but they are proven to help enhance relationships and encourage creativity. 'Icebreakers can help increase team bonds, boost performance and creativity'—Harvard Business School study Integrating icebreakers into your workshops or meetings is a great way to get everyone relaxed and ready to participate. But how do you choose the right ones so that you avoid those dreaded awkward silences? Here are my Top 2 Icebreakers that are easy to implement (in-person or online): 1. My First Job Ask everyone in the group to write down their name, their first job, and what they learned from that job. Then go round the group and have everybody read theirs out. 2. Pointless Questions Prepare a few fun questions ahead of the workshop, then go round the room and have everybody take turns answering the questions. It’s as simple as that—you don’t even need to write anything down! Here are some question suggestions to get you started: - If you could invite a celebrity over for dinner, who would it be and why? - What is your most prized possession and why? - You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life. What do you choose? Here are some more icebreakers for you to explore! What's another great icebreaker that I can add to my list?
@Rebecca Courtney and who doesn't like a good duck drawing
@John Enyame that sounds like fun too!
Helloooo Facilitators 👋 This is a question that comes up A LOT and I would love to hear your answers to it. What's the value of Facilitation? In other words, why do teams need Facilitation/Facilitators? It's so important to be able to answer this question because it will help you convince potential clients of the value you can add to their teams as a Facilitator. Leave your answers in the comments. Looking forward to getting a discussion going on this. Rebecca 💟
I think the role of a facilitator changes depending on the team you're working with. Some teams need facilitators because they lack structure, some teams have too many ideas and not enough resources, where as other teams struggle with ideas but lack resources, maybe the teams want to get better at running workshops themselves, or maybe they just need help figuring out if an idea merits further investment or not. The list goes on and on. The trick is understanding what you, as the facilitator understand about a specific type of team, and what value workshops or facilitation can bring to that sort of team.
I'm curious what y'all use to bring silence back to a room (e.g. after a breakout discussion)? With the first program I was trained to facilitate (Search Inside Yourself) we used a singing bowl like the pic attached. Works like a charm, but definitely has a mindfulness vibe and isn't perfect for every setting. Are there are tools, techniques, etc. that you've found work well?
No fancy tools here folks. I just do one loud, sharp clap and then tell everyone it's time to move on. If there's someone who keeps talking I just say their name to the room and they quiet down.
@Joao Ribeiro If I'm doing a larger group session I just go to one table and do a 'shhhh' they join in, gets around the room quite quickly. Of course I set this expectation upfront 😅
When everyone is on the same page about a way forward, it's easy to think we've done our job as a facilitator. That's certainly the end result we're looking for, after all. The problem is, if we get there too quickly, there's every chance there's been things left unsaid--or unexplored. 💭 Group-think may make finding consensus easy, but it doesn’t necessarily bring the best ideas or solutions. If you’re working with a group that is ALWAYS in agreement, try posing this question: “𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗿𝗴𝘂𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗲 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲?” 💥 Forcing a different argument is a great way to unearth new possibilities.
Forcing an alternative perspective might be a bit aggressive, unless you're trying something like six thinking hats. But it's a vital skill to recognise if there hasn't been sufficient thought put into a decision.
@Kerri Price Ahhh, so less 'force' more 'encourage' - that's totally how I think of it as well!
Howdy! For those of you here who are freelance facilitators, I have two questions: - What's been the most effective method of getting clients? - What kinds of workshops/sessions do you sell the most? I'll go first: - What's been the most effective method of getting clients? --> Creating Youtube content - What kinds of workshops/sessions do you sell the most? --> Innovation Workshops Cheers, Jonathan
I've gotten the majority of my work through networking and referrals. Usually it's 2-3 day sessions with a bit of pre-work mixed in. This year I'm mostly focusing on selling bigger projects, focusing mostly on LinkedIn outreach right now.
@Simon Tratnik I'll often give someone a board template or two I think can help them, after we have a conversation, but I'm not incentivising people to get on calls with me no.
Hey all! Very excited to be here in the Facilitators Club. Makes me happy to see already so many people from the Workshopper Master Community but also a lot of new faces who are interested in facilitation! I have a background in architecture and am located in Belgium. Interested in anything that has to do with facilitation, architecture, our behavior in buildings, workplaces and how that affects our mental health, productivity, collaboration and so on. Currently doing more research about it so if you know any podcasts, articles, books, people, ANYTHING 😂 please let me know! PS: I'm also a beauty and the beast fan and I can sing every word to 'Be Our Guest', but only in Dutch (with facial expressions). Working on the English version at the moment. Take care and I'll see you around!
We love conducting Design Sprints remotely! There's lots of benefits in doing so, but there are some drawbacks. One of those is the Storyboarding exercise. This has always been a struggle for us, but we've been successful incorporating an iPad/Apple Pencil into the process to sketch or wire framing in Figma and sharing that progress in real-time with the client/DS team. I'm curious though how others have handled this difficult step in the process....
@Shaul Nemtzov Yes - the prototyper puts together the storyboard, if needed the researcher and facilitator will also help. It's just one storyboard (usually about 15 steps) and there's no new sketching involved, there's no voting as it's based off the concept sketching we've already voted on - just feedback and input. If the journey isn't clear we sometimes use a 'test flow' exercise to clarify the steps the group is seeing beforehand, but this often isn't necessary. It's definitely high pressure, not something I'd recommend to someone doing a one off design sprint, but the prototypers at AJS doing this all the time, so they're used to it.
@Jason Ruud We don't even create new visuals for the storyboard, but it might be a helpful thing to do, depending on how long you've got for prototyping.
I would like to create a facilitation kit for on the road and also a organised kit for in house. I'm wondering what kinds of things everyone would put in their kits. I can come up with: - Sticky notes 🗒️ - Sharpies 🖊️ - Voting dots 🔴 - Time timer ⏲️ - ... ...and also where do you put all those things in? Is it a plastic box, a suitcase or something else? Please leave your thoughts in the comments, maybe my new kit is created by all of your input.🙂
I put mine in a big trench coat.
I'm kidding of course - I actually just have a box of post-its, sharpies, and dots in a cardboard storage box in the office. I rarely facilitate at someone else's office, but if I do, I'll put all my materials in a suitcase!
One of the toughest skills to learn as a workshop facilitator is managing circular discussions. I'm talking about those discussions where where the team goes around in circles discussing the same topic multiple times. Here’s my top tips on how to handle circular discussions: - Time-boxing - let the group know that you’re going to set a timer for this discussion, the time-pressure will help people be more concise in their thoughts. - Note taking - Listen to the discussion and add notes to your whiteboard. Visualising a discussion will help the team recognise when they’re repeating themselves. - Addressing repetition - Tell the team when they’re repeating themselves, highlight the notes on the board that cover what they’re saying and ask them (politely) to move on. - Challenge relevance - Circular discussions have a tendency to get off track, if you feel like what’s being discussed isn’t relevant to the topic at hand, highlight it with the team. - Summarising - Once you feel like enough has been said, interject with a summary, ask the group if you’ve missed anything and if not, move on. - Deciding - If the discussion needs a decision to move forward, summarise and then ask your decider to decide what you should move forward with. - Parking lot - If a discussion is stretching on too long, and its not crucial to resolve it for the purpose of your workshop, add a post-it to your parking lot and return the discussion later if you have time What are you top tips for managing discussions in a workshop?
@Arvid Hajilou Maybe a training? 😂
@Laura Faint Visualising information is so powerful that I've started doing it in a lot of my meetings, Ill often just pop open a miro board and capture what people are saying, incase we need to refer back to it later in the meeting.
The first time I ever facilitated a workshop, I was terrified. I had never been in charge of keeping a conversation on track before, and I certainly didn't know how to handle silence.Silence is a fundamental tool for facilitation. In fact, it can help teams to better collaborate and come up with creative solutions for highly complex problems. At first, silence may be seen as a challenge to participants, but over time, they realize that silence allows them to listen more carefully and think more deeply about their proposals.They also understand that silence gives others the opportunity to do the same, and as a result, everyone becomes more thoughtful in their interactions and produces better results. Working together-alone is a way to use silence. Walking meditation is another. How are you using silence in facilitation?
The long pause is great technique to get people engaging in workshop, no one likes an awkward silence, if you can get over the awkwardness of standing there in silence staring at the group, it can really spur people to engage.
@Joao Ribeiro I like to take a drink of water, and then if I really want to spark some discussion I'll often say something like 'If I don't hear from anyone soon, I'm going to point to someone randomly and ask them to share their thoughts' Usually that gets someone to jump on the grenade and save their colleagues from the awkwardness. :)
Sounds harsh I know, but it's the truth. Most workshops are time consuming, unfocused, and once they’re over, nothing happens. Here's three ways I ensure that people don't think my workshops suck; 1️⃣ Respect people’s time - Make sure your participants really need to be there, they should be engaged in the topic, and bring valuable perspective or expertise. Otherwise, you’re just wasting their time. 2️⃣ Plan for an outcome - The best workshops end with a decision, so when you’re preparing a workshop, ensure you’re ending on something actionable that you can run with after the workshop. 3️⃣ Solve problems that matter - Most meetings could have been an email, but a lot of workshops could have just been a meeting. Focus on complex, important challenges which require a lot of input and alignment. By keeping these points top of mind for any workshop I'm designing, I can be confident that participants won't leave feeling like I've just wasted their time. But what are your top tips for making sure your workshops don't suck? Let's discuss!
@Jeff Panning Iteration is definitely worthwhile, but I actually don't collect feedback on my workshops anymore, I used to but I found the feedback way always too biased to be useful for the design process. Instead I run a very short retro session with my co-facilitator(s) soon after (but not directly after) to look at what went well, what could be improved, etc.
@Jeff Panning naturally I ensure the expectations were met, I just can't use any of their comments in the design process because they lack objectivity.
What do you all think about method card decks? Personally I used them a bit at university to plan/design workshops I remember liking the tactile feel instead of flipping through books like Gamestorming. But now I feel that they might be redundant or more of a novelty product. I'm still considering designing my own with my favorite methods for personal use, but I'm split in other decks as I both see reasons in paying no attention to them and hoarding them like a greedy dragon. Pros & Cons I see +Tactile +Compact +Can be displayed on the wall in the workshop room as a sort of schedule -Less information on methods than books -Planning/designing workshops can be easily done digitally or with post-it's instead when you know your favorite methods. I would like to hear other opinions on this topic as I feel like I'm missing something.
Haven't tried Method Cards but I've tried a few other facilitation decks. If you're like me and you love having physical things like books around, then they're a nice thing to have on hand as a reference from time to time. I've found the decks I've looked through are pretty basic (I'll not name any names) and generally I get a lot more out of books which go deeper on specific subjects. That said, I've noticed that when I hand a deck of facilitation cards to someone who has a passing interest in facilitation, they usually love them. TLDR: If you're already into facilitation, decks are a nice trinket. If you're a newbie, they seem to be much more helpful and exciting.
Hello everyone, what skills do you think everyone should learn to become a facilitator? and how did you learn that skill?
Lots of good input here, but an often overlooked skill facilitators should have (at least in-person) is neat handwriting. My handwriting used to be like chicken scratch, but I practiced lettering and caligraphy for a few years to fix it. Wasn't for the purposes of facilitation at the time, but it's useful now looking back.
98% of the workshops I facilitated last year were fully remote. Even the teams I was worked were mostly distribute, some spread across multiple continents. The biggest challenge I see with remote workshops, compared to in-person, is keeping folks engaged. After all, you're literally asking them to stare at a screen with all those tempting little apps and tabs screaming for attention the whole time You can't ask people to just put stuff away, so instead I rely on momentum (or to put it another way, the pace in which you move through the workshop) Momentum encourages focus, and by keeping a brisk pace, you ensure those in the session have less time to disengage, to jump over to Slack or Email, because if they do, they’ll quickly realise that the workshop will move on without them. You should set this expectation early, let them know that they’re going to need to focus, and that if they’re distracted they might miss important information, this will ensure they recognise the behaviour. The real trick though is to make it feel natural, it shouldn't feel like you’re rushing through exercises, it should feel as though you have just the right amount of time for everything. It’s a delicate balance, but if you can find it you’ll have a much more engaged remote group.
@David Newman 4 hours is my rule of thumb for any workshop, not just remote. 7-8 hours is brutally long time to focus even if you're in a room with others. 😅
I'm curious. I have a client who is asking for an in-person workshop (previously we have done it all online), but one of the facilitators would be on Zoom as they are on the otherside of the world. Has anyone done this? What has been your experience? How do we make it successful? Exploring ideas at the moment to see how viable this is.
Having a remote facilitator (and I assume another in-person one?) sounds very distracting if the rest of the team is in-person, not a good look for the facilitation team in my opinion.
In my 20+ years of facilitation, I've only ever worked with a co-facilitator a handful of times. (And on every occasion it was someone I knew well and had worked with in other contexts.) I've recently been given the opportunity to co-facilitate on a reasonably large programme of workshops, and while I'm not super-passionate about the work being proposed, I'm tempted to say yes just so I can experience co-facilitation on a different level. I'm keen to hear of your experiences co-facilitating (especially if it was with someone you didn't know well to begin with). What do I need to think about / plan for / consider in order for it to work really well? I'm really keen to explore where co-facilitated workshops fit in the mix of things.
I work with co-facilitators whenever I can, it just makes the whole experience easier. The secret - align on expectations up front, who'll be the 'lead' facilitator, when should the co-facilitator jump in, when should they let you do their thing, what should the co-facilitator do when you're doing your things, what parts do you switch roles, etc.
I think the main part is switching over at the point it makes sense to do that, and letting them roll with it for a while after. For example; if you're doing Sprint Questions it can make sense to hand over to your researcher (assuming they're also a co-facilitator) because they're best suited to steer the conversation, and afterwards it feels more natural for them to continue to facilitate for a while before you pick up again. A mistake I've happen plenty is bringing someone in to co-facilitate when they don't really understand the workshop you're running, trying to let inexperienced facilitators 'co-facilitate' is always going to feel clunky. Or when people bring in a co-facilitator who's going to run one exercise 'to get some experience' - it's not a role for baby's first workshop, if they want experience they should participate and then go facilitate a workshop with clients who don't know any better. So I'd say having a similar capability is key, or at least a not having noticeably dissimilar capabilities. There's no substitute for working with great people. Other than that, if you're remote, a back-channel can make it much more natural to prompt co-facilitators to take over, join conversations, make changes to the boards, etc. In-person you've kind of got to tell them to do things, but I usually say something like 'While I'm introducing this next exercise, Kerri is going to summarise everything we just went through more neatly on the board' so it doesn't feel like you're just telling them what to do, seems more planned this way. That's all I can think of right now, I hope it helps!
Perhaps one of the biggest perks of a community like this is to openly share failures and have a laugh about it 😀 What were some of your most memorable fails to date throughout your facilitation journey? Either yours or that you witnessed first hand! Let’s hear it! I’ll start in the comments!
My biggest fail was pretty early on in my facilitation, when I wound up going more than two hours over time. It was with a startup, and I totally underestimated how much they needed to discuss things, the workshop was bloated and should have been spread over a couple of days instead of just one. Thankfully the team was very understanding, but I definitely needed a beer or two afterwards because I was exhausted. Now I am very careful with timings, managing discussions and prep. Another time I was doing a hybrid workshop in the early days of the pandemic, for a brand new digital product startup, one of the participants (a subject matter expert) didn't have time to talk to me before hand, didn't read any of my messages, showed up without a laptop to take part in the workshop, and when we had our first discussion they said 'I don't think [the target audience] wants a product like this, I hate spending time on digital products.' 🤦♂️ Then two hours before the workshop ends they announced 'I have another appointment I need to go to now' and just got up and left, before we had even finished the exercise. The team was also quite shocked, but I learned how important proper preparation is, I shouldn't have allowed them to be so flippant about the whole process and been firmer that if they cant make time for the pre-work they shouldn't attend. In the long run, it was probably for the best, because the founding team got to see that this subject matter expert was NOT right for their business, but I was pretty embarrassed and frustrated that I'd let them slip in and disrupt the process so much.
Are also facilitators here who are freaking nervous and anxious before their meeting, session or workshop starts? Do you have any advise how to not freak out before? 😅 Although I would say I am always pretty good prepared and my sessions are running smoothly I get so anxious before, struggle with my imposter syndrome and expect the worst to happen. As soon as the meeting starts I get very calm and confident, so it is actually the time before which is really stressful for me although I really love what I do and I love the role of the facilitator.
I don't think fighting it helps, but I learned from David JP Phillips that there are definitely things you can do to balance your neurochemistry. Now I have 'pregame rituals' that help get me in the right frame of mind before I start a workshop. I keep mine pretty simple - it could be going for a short walk, playing with the dog for a few minutes, listening to a certain tempo of music for a few minutes, meditating or breathing exercises, maybe even a few pushups or jumping jacks. Could be worth giving it a try!
Hi facilitation nation, I'm in the process of selling a Positioning Workshop for a circular economy startup pre-launch. As I see it, their two main goals are: 1. align the leadership team on target audience and retail categories at launch 2. build conviction that it's safe to have a go to market focus that shifts over time (a few members of their team have different and strong opinions about where they *should* move after launch) Any experience conducting something similar? I'd love to hear of kick off or deep dive activities that helped leadership teams describe their hypotheses and align on which to move forward with (I suspect this will be a variation of a dot voting activity). Thank you for your input! Siena
Hi Siena - one of the things I like to do for sessions like these is to break down the steps for building a good statement - I've done this a lot with value propositions but it should work well for a positioning workshop as well. For the target audience you could look at using an empathy map if they know their customers well, Or you could use the customer segment of the value proposition canvas instead - as this will give you a bit more of the context in which the target audience. In terms of alignment you may want to set a 2 year goal, so that everyone is aligned on what you're working on inside the workshop. Other exercises that might be good for aligning people could be lightning demos to see how others have tackled similar challenges (even in other categories), concept sketching to visualise thinking and align on solutions, and roadmapping exercises to show what the road ahead might look like. These are pretty high level thoughts, but I'd be happy to give you some more detailed thoughts if you could describe the client and their challenge in a little more detail.
@Siena Hickey That's the one :)
Hey all! I thought it might be interesting to start a money/success discussion amongst the facilitation chat here as I think being a successful facilitator is just as important as being a great one. So here's a topic I believe strongly about: You have to Pay to be Successful To become successful at anything, you’ll need knowledge and experience. You’ll need to learn hard lessons. To run a successful Design Consultancy, I needed to understand how to build a design team, how to sell, how to market, how to manage and everything in between. To run a successful Online Course business I needed to understand how to build online courses, how to package them and most importantly: how to sell them. To be a high-day-rate Facilitator, I had to learn not only how to run any kind of session for any type of company, but also how to SELL facilitation to any type of company. All 3 required a lot of lessons learned to bring them to their current multi-million dollar revenue states… but I used a different “currency” to build each one. In the end, there are only 2 currencies an entrepreneur can use to learn the lessons needed to become successful: 1. Time 2. Money Time: At the beginning of my career I used the only currency I had a lot of: time. It took years of grinding before AJ&Smart even reached the 7-figure (million-dollar revenue) mark. I was shooting in the dark, trying to build something from scratch, learning the lessons in real-time as they happened. It was like hiking up a mountain with no map, no guide and no signs. Eventually, I made it to the top of the mountain but it was a painful process and it nearly burned me out. This is why I decided to try a different currency for the second business: Money Money: From the beginning of building Workshopper, in fact, even before I created the first line of dialogue for my first course, I decided to pay for the lessons I needed to learn using money! For the second business I decided that if I could pay someone who’d “already been to the top of the mountain” to tell me how to get there quicker and safer, I would pay them. I didn’t want to trudge up the mountain blindly, taking years to learn the lessons that others had already learned the hard way.
Used to be a big believer in 'figuring things out yourself' - and there's still some merit and satisfaction to that today, I love reading and learning, and it's a great feeling when something you've figured out starts creating impact to your earning. But beyond that, there's no prizes for figuring out something yourself when you can do it 10x faster by just paying someone else to help. If you're running a business (solo or otherwise) I actually think it's irresponsible to not take opportunities to invest in accelerated learning. Even if the course, coaching, or mastermind only helps you add 10-20% to your revenue, the investment should pay for itself in no time. It doesn't always go that way, and sometimes a course/coach etc can be a complete waste of time and money, but Im a firm believer now that you've gotta take those risks if you can.
I am thinking of putting a workshop together for Experiment Design. Say the team has one or some hypothesis and they want to find out which experiment is the most appropriate one to test it? What is the data to be collected and why? How is it going to be used in evaluating the hypothesis? ... Overall, the purpose of the workshop is to design an optimized and efficient instructions package for experimenting the hypothesis. Has anyone ever done this or similar workshop for the same purpose? I would appreciate if you share your experience. 🙏
Hi Arvid, I actually have a recipe for this, you can probably at least use it as a foundation. The objective is to create experiments so that we can gather data by implementing or executing the experiments post workshop. It can be used to create process or product experiments. 1. The Map We start off by creating a customer journey map (I usually do these before the workshop, it saves a lot of time an chaos at the start of the workshop) 2. HMWs on the map We use the HMWs we generate on the map to look for opportunities or challenges we could solve based on the customer journey. 3. Dot voting We vote on the HMWs, the steer to the group is what do we think is an opportunity with the most potential, or a challenge we really need to gather more data on. 4. Decider vote The decider then gets five decider votes to pick from the top voted HMWs. We use these as the basis for our experiments later. (Optional Step) Lighting Demos If you're creating product experiments, this can be a good step to take to get people inspired. Skip if you want just process experiments, or a mix. 5. Experiment Concepts Everyone generates at least two simple experiment concepts, in this version I'm using 'the big idea' 'the riskiest assumption' and 'HMW questions' (which of a selected HMWs does this address). But you could easily swap riskiest assumption for 'hypothesis' if you wanted. 6. Dot voting Voting with the steer on which experiments would give us the best answers to our HMW questions? (Optional Step) Strawpoll vote If you want extra input before deciding, give everyone one bigger dot with their initials on it, have them decider which one they want to 'pitch' to the group (explain why its the one they like' take turns pitching, no more than 60 seconds each. 7. Decider vote The decider picks 3 experiments you'll run with afterwards. 8. Action steps Take your 3 chosen experiments, and then quickly identify the 3 logical next steps for each experiment. Go through each experiment 1 by 1.
Full disclosure, I've only tried this recipe once, it works quite well, but I would need to sit with it for another few hours to iterate it. If you try it, please let me know how it goes. Good luck!
I've been playing a lot with ChatGPT in the context of facilitation. Check the overall conversation by opening the images in this post one by one! This stuff is mind-blowing!!!!! Some conclusions: ✅ ChatGPT is wonderful for inspiration! Think of it as a co-facilitator ✅ You need to know what to ask! Problem framing and critical thinking are skills even more valuable in the age of AI ✅ The robot wont run the workshop for you ;) So the whole human element and real-time ability to adapt give facilitators even more value! ✅ I cannot wait to see the amazing abilities AI will give facilitators. One example is to use AI tools to quickly capture visually some exercises outputs without the need to be a great scribbler/sketch-noter. You can try it out at chat.openai.com :) How about you? What experiments have you been doing with AI and facilitation?
Ahhh you beat me to posting about it here! I've been playing with this as well 😂 It's pretty fun to play with, going to be really useful in the future I think.
Hi team. I'm curious to know how people stimulate creative thinking in problem solving / idea generation sessions. I have an exercise I use to demonstrate how the human brain works; we play the 'yeah but-yes and' game; I use prompts like Picture Cards and Story Cubes; we do Guided Visualisation; prompts like Imagine if or I wonder what would happen...what else?
Usually I just use strategically placed breaks in the workshop, along with gentle encouragement to go outside, take a walk, play with your dog, look at something green, or something along those lines. But there are all sorts of things you can do, energisers are a great way to get the juices flowing.
Hello👋 Do we have any Design Thinking Practitioners who have facilitated workshops in Telecommunication (Telco), Media or Network domain areas ? If yes, what are the different wicked problems you have worked with the workshop participants? How has been your experience? Were you able to see any ideas getting implemented leveraging Design Thinking practices ? Would like to know more about the success story and overall journey to get better understanding 😊
One of the biggest time sinks I see in workshops is facilitators wasting time grouping post-its before voting. Here’s what I do instead; 1️⃣ I ask everyone just to vote on whichever post-it has their preferred wording. 2️⃣ I synthesize AFTER voting is complete. This way, instead of going through a bunch of irrelevant post-its that no one voted for anyway, I only need to synthesize the dozen or so post its that actually have votes. Plus, you don't end up burying a better phrasing at the bottom of a pile of post-its, and you don't kill the momentum of the workshop by spending 10 minutes sorting through a massive pool of ideas. I'd say this tweak is at least twice as fast as the alternative, which really adds up over the course of a half, or full days workshop.
@Jakub Michalski ⏲️⏲️⏲️⏲️⏲️
@Joao Ribeiro Its my default approach, if I see a clear need to not do it, then I'll synthesise before. I used to mix and match, but nowadays I rarely synthesise before voting, I just see way more drawbacks than benefits. - It's slower, and it kills the momentum of the workshop - It results in over-synthesis of ideas - It results in vague groups of 'similar ideas' - It often buries better phrasing in a pile - It encourages group think because people see an idea with lots of post-its and automatically think they should vote there. The team still has to consider all the possibilities, they just do it 'alone together' during voting. But I'm not saying there are no benefits, if I saw a clear need for grouping or synthesis before voting I'd definitely do that, but I think for the majority of cases I'd say synthesis after is the better approach.
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Founder of Jumble, Workshops & Facilitation. Guest Coach @ AJ&Smart