Collaborative workshop template: Take stock of your strategic positioning
Our consulting team offers a turnkey solution for performing your review with a downloadable collaborative workshop framework that will help you avoid the logistical traps that often accompany the organization of this type of meeting, thereby allowing you to extract a maximum number of insights.
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Why set up a collaborative workshop?
Collaborative workshops or meetings offer many advantages:
Communication and alignment
Does your organization spend too much time working in silos? Does it seem like your team members aren’t heading in the right direction? Does everyone have a biased view due to their function or role? Is information not being communicated clearly or circulated uniformly? Are some team members criticizing the organization’s lack of transparency or vision?
This workshop will allow you to gather together key stakeholders no matter what their role for a healthy, constructive discussion on the company’s strategic orientation, its vision and its current and future challenges, both in terms of the competitive landscape and internal assets. The workshop’s format allows you to push your thinking beyond your usual limits on subjects such as disruptive new competitors, new revenue opportunities (through new business models), etc. It’s a time for listening to and empowering the viewpoints of every participant.
Collective intelligence and creativity
Do you feel like you’re turning in circles? That the organization is robotically repeating the same formula but hoping for a different result? Do you feel the need to challenge the status quo? Are you hoping to innovate?
As the old adage says, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Having a lot of separate, good ideas is fine, but a team that builds something together out of each person’s strengths is even better! Confronting different points of view in real time will allow you to push your ideas further and more accurately head in the right direction.
Engagement and ownership
Are your team members unmotivated? Do they feel like their opinion doesn’t count? Do they not understand what is expected of them or, worse, how they can contribute to accomplishing the company’s vision and goals? Does the hierarchical structure of your organization weigh too heavily on them?
This workshop’s collaborative formula and procedural guidelines enable the values of sharing, respect and transparency to be brought to life in a very concrete way. This means it is highly likely that participants will feel they are being listened to more carefully and therefore will be more engaged with the subject. There’s no such thing as a bad idea! Suggestions that are put forward by a group of people can be more easily adopted by this same group.
Who should be invited to the workshop?
The whole team, regardless of whether or not this is a mixed group of people (with many functions or roles in the organization). We have led this workshop for several clients, amongst groups ranging from five to 20 people, with participants from a range of departments such as IT, marketing, legal, sales, customer service, finance, operations, etc. Also the initiative for holding this type of workshop can come from anyone in the team—managers don’t necessarily have to be the only instigators. This reinforces the idea that anyone can play a role in accomplishing the organization’s mission or vision. Leadership decentralization often allows the creation of a stronger sense of ownership within teams.
When should collaborative workshops be held?
No matter what projects you are currently working on or your working methods, there is no bad time for asking yourself a few questions. However, there are certain moments that seem to be particularly opportune for holding this type of workshop: at the end of the year, before starting a project, during the creation of a road map, after a restructuring, before a change of direction is announced, etc.
How should we prepare for the workshop?
This is a turnkey solution! That means there’s no need to make a big fuss over the topic, the schedule, the logistics—EVERYTHING is in the downloadable guide. This includes:
Instructions for the moderator (including instructions to be shared with the group)
Rules for running the workshop
Its duration and sequence of events (minute by minute)
A printable workbook for each participant
All you need to do is identify a list of participants and reserve a time slot and location for holding the workshop.
The moderator’s role is fundamental to the success of the workshop. The moderator hosts the session, provides instructions and ensures the focus of the discussion is maintained as well as respect for the rules and time frame.
Depending on the size of the group, other participants may assist the moderator (for example, a project manager, subject matter expert, etc.).
No preparation is needed on the part of participants either. Only their presence (without any distractions by cellphones or computers) is required for the proper functioning of the workshop. This condition is, in fact, part of the philosophy behind this type of exercise, since not preparing in advance helps maintain the spontaneity of the group.
Nevertheless, it is important to provide a proper introduction for the workshop, its context, its goals and the motivations behind holding it, in addition to explaining how the insights it generates will be used in concrete terms. A follow-up after the workshop is essential.
Ready to reach the next level?
If you would like to receive further guidance, whether for this type of workshop or for a more complete collaborative working group that will tackle other subjects, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!