In the strategy series we will give you insights in how we help our clients with their strategic challenges. We know it is hard to keep up with, and navigate through, the ever-changing mobile marketing landscape. That is why we love to help in anyway we can! One way of helping is giving strategic advice by doing workshops together with our clients. Refresh with the team
We think it is immensely important to get out of the daily business once and a while and free up time for an Awayday with your team. This will give you the opportunity to look at the team deliverables from a drone view, move it up to a higher level and define strategic goals together. Our advice is to really do this and to verify you are all facing the same direction. But we also realize an Awaydays cost time and time is valuable. That is why, we will share some info about workshop tools, tips and small exercises in this episode of our strategy blog series. Especially for you, to use during just a one-hour meeting for a quick team refreshment.
As a professional, you know it is time to refresh things when you hear yourself or colleagues saying: “Yeah, we’ve tried that before and...”. It is totally understandable that you will not always be able to come up with surprisingly new ideas but organizing even a small workshop meeting will definitely give you new energy and will result in an exciting new mindset for your team.
Definition of workshop:
A meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project.
It is great if every end-product is a result of team effort. When working in a committed team you will probably all have ideas on how things should be or what things should look like. To have the right acceptance criteria for everyone to proceed, it’s necessary to find the right balance and agreement on these different ideas. If you’re facing difficulties prioritizing all the ideas that come up and you get stuck, one of the solutions can be to do a workshop session which will quickly generate ideas and immediately forces you to discuss and prioritize these ideas within the project you are working on. Hopefully, this will help you to break out of familiar strategic patterns and give you some fresh and new insights. Read on and we will tell you how…
First of all, make sure you have al the tools needed to facilitate a workshop yourself. If you do not have these already, go to the store and buy all the office supplies you need to make it happen! We’ve already made a shopping list for you below.
- Post its & sticky notes in different colors
- A flip board or otherwise large sheets of paper
- A whiteboard!
- Colored markers permanent and the ones suited for the whiteboard
- Nametags in case not everyone is familiar with each other (when brainstorming with different departments for example)
- Provide coffee, water, fruit and snacks
When you’ve collected all the office basics and supplies to start your workshop, try to create or find an inspiring surrounding to start your workshop. At least, do not take place in the same meeting room you are usually in. Choosing an environment out of the ordinary stimulates the creative brain! Also, assign someone to be the workshop moderator. Preferably someone neutral who has no interest in de the outcome of the meeting. aFrogleap believes in creating a workshop environment that will appeal to everyone, keeping in mind that every individual has its own preferred communication style. Therefore, it is necessary that the moderator pays attention and makes sure that everyone feels free to say and suggest whatever he or she wants. Send invitations and explain the purpose of the workshop. And share topics or questions you wish to discuss so that everyone has time to think about it in advance.
The best ideas
The way to get the best ideas from your team is to sometimes change the way how you think of different ideas together. For example, ask a question to find solutions for a problem that you’re facing as a team. Divide the group into smaller teams consisting out of persons from different departments or disciplines. Set a time limit for idea generation and present the team ideas to each other in a small pitch. If the idea-generation-process is something collaborative, the ideas will naturally have support amongst more team members. This makes it easier to directly discuss your points of view and jointly agree on what to do.
Another way, is to let everyone write down their personal thoughts about the subject-matter on a post-it. This way, you make sure that every individual with its own communication style (introverts and extraverts) feel free to speak up. Then categorize the ideas and discuss them. One model that could help you categorize and prioritize is the ‘Ideation model’ from the Service Design Toolkit. The way to use the model is as follows…You hang all the solutions ideas up and let the participants vote using different colour stickers. Sort the ideas on the poster and decide together which ideas you want to further develop. This makes it more easy to prioritize future plans as a team.
“Service design is a method for improving the quality of your service. Those improvements are directed at both the users and staff of your organization. Innovating in services is not new. Every organization that provides services thinks seriously about improving the quality of its service at some point.”
Download Service Design templates to get your workshop started. If you are more interested in this, you can also read our Design series blog: 'An introduction to service design.'
In our previous strategy series blog we also described Mind Mapping to be a helpful thinking tool to kick-start ideas. Mind mapping enables you to visualize your thoughts, connect your ideas and manage information effectively during your workshop. If you need something to make your ideas more concrete, mind mapping will help you to break down your ideas into smaller pieces of information which are more manageable.
Let’s do it!
Are you ready to do this? While reading this blog, you maybe have found your role as the catalyst to set up a one-hour workshop within your organization! Gather you colleagues, share your idea on this workshop meeting, pick a date, set a time, get prepared and choose the subject. We are sure it will bring you new ideas and point out new directions. Hopefully your energy and this session will cause your team to be more creative, innovative and more refreshing. And if you need any support in deciding your mobile marketing strategy, feel free to send us an invite as well!