Aim The workshop’s HMW-challenge. Possibility to add a higher aim with the HMW-challenge distilled from a previous workshop. Background The top voted problems from collection phase (two or more votes). Limitations High impact/high effort solutions. Optional to add but documents an awareness of other solutions that this project won’t include because it’s too much effort. Goals and corresponding project goals Success criteria (the goals) and corresponding high impact/low effort solutions (project goals) from commitment phase with List of activities The three steps to try each high impact/low effort solution. Monitoring and evaluation The activity board that defines what (high impact/low effort solutions), who and when. Whoever is tasked with writing up the project plan suggests on when and how the entire project is evaluated, perhaps with another LDJ. Some context... Recently, I guided an executive team through two LDJs because they wanted to make progress in their strategic plan. While the workshop was an opportunity to force the team to commit to smaller tests, I anticipated that the complexity of the strategic plan will also require high effort solutions that they need to find a starting point for. To get the best of both, I decided to test to run the same LDJ-workshop twice. The first workshop had a broader challenge focused on the team’s strategic plan and generated low effort tests that they committed to. The top voted solution in the project-box on the action board became the starting challenge for the second workshop. The aim for the second workshop was to make progress on activities in the strategic plan that require high effort by breaking it down into a project plan the team could commit to. Two out of the team were tasked to write up the results of the workshop into a project plan template that I prepared for them. Using the framework of a project plan was beneficial in several ways: - The members are familiar with project management which made the workshop more relatable. - As a governmental department we must ensure our work is traceable. Thus, documentation is necessary where a project plan is a simple way to track work. The project plan also forces the team to formulate complete sentences to define their aims, problems, and goals.
Last week I guided my executive team through a two-day workshop focusing on how they might work on strategy with focus and continuity. - Tests/Do now-tasks from two LDJs = independent work in the final session - Introduce logic of design thinking = reminder that the purpose is priority - not perfection My manager’s brief was that the team should find ways to work on strategy with focus and continuity. They already have a defined strategy and activities but have struggled to make progress. In the first afternoon, I guided the team through an LDJ that was focused on the wider challenge of how they could focus and work with continuity with strategy. I started off by explaining the background and logic behind the LDJ (note, vote, prioritize and Design Thinking). Returning to the process logic also worked like the mood diagram that AJ & Smart sometimes draw in the beginning of workshops for me. That way I could remind the team where we were in the process and the point of the exercises. I drew the double diamond for the introduction and as the workshop processed, I noted when we moved through the 4Cs framework in one of the whiteboard corners. Explaining the logic from the start made it easier to repeat that their purpose was to define priorities to test – not the perfect problem or solutions. I almost forgot the final part of assigning the tests on an What, Who When-board. When we shared our experiences from the day one member said they’d enjoyed it, however, was anxious to delegate the tasks and commit to timelines. Having the exit talk planned sure helped and we were able to complete the task delegation before ending the session. The next morning, we did the second LDJ. The idea was to use the second LDJ to design a simple project plan based on the top voted solution that ended up in the project-box on the action board in the previous workshop. I figured that several of their already planned activities in the strategy are complex and the workshop was a good opportunity to give one of them a push. I will post my project plan template with instructions on what parts from the workshop to fill in with.
Last week I guided my executive team through a two-day workshop focusing on how they might work on strategy with focus and continuity. The challenge of formulating HMW-challenges and success criteria I realize I need to practice formulating HMW-challenges to make problems actionable and broader. I struggled to hear what the team said and form that into a challenge that didn’t just restate the problem with an “HMW” in the corner. Similarly, the success criteria of each test from the action board were challenging to formulate to something else than “test completed”. The executive team struggled to remain in the phase of deciding on a challenge, eager to get into designing solutions. When they were trying to formulate HMWs and ended up talking about various solutions I responded with “yes, that is one potential way that you could go about it but, in order to solve what challenge?”. I was weary not to say anything that would discourage them at this point and shut them down with “yes, but…”, “no”, etc. Me and the team used at least double the recommended time to figure out the HMWs. I took on the advice from @Shannon Wagers and @Salah Bouchmar I received beforehand and allowed the team more talking time and even some detailed discussions. I believe it gave the necessary wiggle room for the team to understand everyone’s point of views and feel assured that the challenge aligned with their understanding. Although it took a while for us to get there, and the group obviously found it frustrating that I wasn’t letting them go on, it worked out well. Starting with what’s already there The executive team already possess a strategic plan and activities that go along with it. Therefore, the workshop shouldn’t focus on creating more activities. Instead, my manager wanted them to decide on how they were going to work with their strategy and make progress. That is how we landed in the broad challenge: How might we work with our strategy with focus and continuity?
I told my manager I'd love to guide them through their two-day workshop. Now, I'm nervous and realize I might have bit off more than I can chew. Do you reckon that I am any close to a planned workshop or does it seem too vague still? Grateful for all your input. Purpose: The goal should be a shared approach to what the general meetings should handle, how they should be handled and a shared approach to staying focused on strategy in these meetings. Part of that goal should be how they want to work with their strategic “road map” that’s been in place for less than a year. The question the executive manager has identified, and would like to focus on in the workshop, is: “How might we utilize management meetings to strategy (rather than detailed, operative questions)?”. The team: It’s an executive team to a governmental department. The team consists of 6 people: one general manager, one development manager and four technical managers. They all have significant experience in their fields but haven’t worked in this constellation for more than two years. 8,5 hours spread over two days: First day we have two sessions: 2hrs and 1 h 20 min respectively. The second day fits three sessions: 1 h 15 min, 1 h 45 min, ending with 2 hrs. The breaks separating the sessions are due to coffee and lunch breaks. I’m planning on spending the final 45 minutes to a final coffee and relaxed conversation about our experience. I’m familiar with facilitation techniques but lack practice in the separate exercises and designing the series of exercises. My challenges and concerns: - I wonder if the HMW-question is detailed enough and how the workshop exercises will lead to concrete solutions. - I am not sure what exercises to use for the four phases Collect, Choose, Create and Commit since the goal of the workshop is not to define a new strategy or activities to the road map. Rather, it is team/culture building and how to approach their general meetings. - I also struggle to imagine the time each exercise would take. A&J Smart and several contributions here give lots of valuable advice on quick workshops when you’re short on time rather than longer time.
Good morning everyone! I have just been accepted to the community and look forward to interacting with you all. Who am I? - Emelie (she/her) 30 years old. - Currently working as a secretary at a governmental department in Malmö, south Sweden and I see the opportunity to be a facilitator for the executive team that I support. - Working on lifting my gaze to the strategy after several experiences in operative roles. - Master's degree of International Development & Management, Bachelor's degree of Peace and Conflict sciences from Lund University (2015-2021). - Experiences of leadership, education and coaching in both professional and volunteering roles. - I'm happy to share my knowledge in equity and human rights-based approaches, my fields of study and insights from working with volunteers. Take care! ✌️
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I aim to catch moments to incorporate facilitation training in my secretary role. Woman (she/her) based in Sweden and in the beginning of my career.