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Since the dawn of business, we’ve been hosting meetings and workshops almost daily. From brainstorming to prototyping, collaborative workshops have been used to collectively source ideas and collaborative processes to move businesses ahead. But has much really changed? In this post we’ll take a look at how some aspects of the traditional workshop have changed, and how some really have remained true…and stale.
First what is a workshop? Or a meeting for that matter?
We could simply call it a gathering of people. Or take it one step further to say it’s a gathering of people from an organization. Even further, it would be great to add that there is an intended outcome or goal to this gathering of like minded or similarly motivated group of people…but that’s not always the case.
Take the weekly sales team meeting, or the daily stand up for example. These are recurring meetings with the point of disseminating information to keep the teams of employees informed. There really isn’t an outcome beyond that for many organizations. Where these meetings tend to be about conversation or the dissemination of information, workshops have a constructive goal attached to them. So we’ll focus on the for the remainder of the post, but you’re welcome to use the term meeting as you read.
Early workshops utilized chalkboards, and ledgers or sheets of paper with fountain pens. Today, some organizations are using very similar tools as our predecessors, the whiteboard and dry erase markers…and sheets of paper, with ballpoint pens or felt tip markers.
Post-it Notes take meeting tools one step further with small, colorful squares of self adhesive paper, but they aren’t really that far beyond the simplicity of early workshop tools. Yes, they are easy to rearrange without having to rewrite all of the ideas and previous submissions, but they still require some poor sod to have compile and analyze a plethora of paper.
The modern age, that of digitization is now bringing with it, technology that enhances our workshops. Not only do we have tools like computers and television screens that allow us to communicate with each other while remaining in different locations, but these same tools can help to capture input like ideas, feedback and votes as they happen. And thus we have now digitized the workshop.
No really, when we say “we”, we’re actually talking about ourselves. Idea Hunt is now a free app that requires no downloads or installations, and digitizes brainstorming workshops by asking users to submit responses via a digital workspace they access through their smartphones. Ideas are shared, improved and voted on, instantly.
Taking it one step further, we will soon release a pack of templates which companies can leverage the design thinking process from start to finish for a small monthly licensing fee.
Idea Hunt is dedicated to further digitizing the way in which we work together. From Strategic planning to lean methodologies, we will be continuously adding packages of professional workshop templates to our offering. We’re not one to sit on our laurels, we’re the workshop app, and the people behind it.