Workshops are powerful tools for business planning, strategy and execution. There are many types of workshops that you can design and host depending upon your desired outcomes…but where do you start? How do you design a workshop that fits your organization, your business needs?
Elia Morling and Jonas Soderstrom have years of experience designing, developing and hosting workshops for various companies, and using various models and frameworks. In this blog post, he shares some insights and tips that we use internally at Idea Hunt as we help others develop and facilitate workshops.
Together with your key stakeholders, you should set the objective based on your specific needs. This part might sound obvious, but the more specific you can get the better. Do you need to grow your sales? If so, can you narrow down to a specific percentage (Say by 20%). Is there a specific time frame in which your needs have to be met (Say by 2019)? Just by asking these two questions, we have narrowed your needs down from: We need more sales, to something like: We need to increase sales by 20% before the end of the fiscal year 2019.
Is the goal to have three new ideas to research, explore and forecast? Or is the desired outcome to have narrowed everything down to one idea, for which teams will have assignments to continue the work after the workshop has concluded? By narrowing down the desired outcome, you set the expectations for the individuals and teams participating in your workshop, therefore helping them to be more focused.
Your workshop and its successful outcome is dependent upon the participants involved in the event itself. The right mix of participants, with the right backgrounds and skill sets, will improve the results of the workshop. After you’ve invited them to your workshop, it’s important to prime their participation, by explaining the workshop, it’s reason and the intended outcome. This will help them gain an intimate understanding and perform better during the event.
Developing a workshop is a lot of work and requires thinking through and planning out all of the various steps of a workshop. First you have to educate and invite your participants, schedule the actual event, and then break it down into the various phases. Idea Hunt has developed a SAAS workshop tool that offers users pre-developed templates to help make this process faster, and will be soon launching this tool.