Sometimes a group will struggle to understand its challenge. The challenge will feel overwhelming because as soon as they focus on one part of the problem they quickly realise that there are other, just as challenging parts to work on.

Creating the environments where a group can wrestle with that complexity and also develop some form of ‘understanding’ about their problem is one of the many jobs of the Facilitation Team. The activity ‘Create-The-Game’ does just that. It is a way to have participants dive into their problems by creating games. Making these games allows the group to develop a new insight into what their problems are really about. Problems are there to be solved, right? That’s similar to how games are meant to be won?

Create-The-Game is a great example of how you can generate new insight into a problem by re-framing it. In the case of this activity that insight is gained by having the group design, build, and play a game that is focussed on ‘winning’ over their challenge.

A change of focus from the normal posts today.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how ideas move from ‘random thought in my head’ through to ‘work to be done’. In some ways it’s a natural process that happens all the time, but there are those ideas that don’t progress because they haven’t been properly clarified. Those idea are the ones that might sit on your to-do list for weeks, months, maybe even years.

The good news is, I think I’ve found the right combination of tools and process to make it all work.

Design is the process of aligning desire and constraint. Somewhere in that process trade offs will inevitably be made. We can’t have it all and we have to compromise in some way. Learning how to compromise is hard enough for individuals. Now try it in a group where the desires of others can appear arbitrary and unaccounted for.

Groups that find ways to productively compromise are at an advantage to groups that cannot. Those groups can make better decisions, can make them faster and a much more likely to follow through.

Our ideas have the opportunity to get better when we step our of our own filter bubble and get feedback on them. That said, giving and receiving feedback on each other’s work can be scary and is often avoided. We all know what this can lead to. Finding ways to constructively and safely give feedback is an essential part of authentic collaboration.

When you resolve to use parallel work and iteration (which I recommend you do) in your workshops, you create a new need.

At the end of a round, the teams need ways to share what they’ve done. They need ways to share their work.

In this article, I explore techniques, considerations for, and implications of sharing work.

Closely coupled with the idea of parallel work is another idea – iteration. Iteration is about building workshop outputs in increments over time. Combined with parallel work it allows a group to see how components of their workshop topic interrelate and how to achieve ‘the best’ outcome.

What do you do when not every workshop participant is in the room?

You turn to technology!

Working with ‘remote’ participants is both a challenge and an opportunity. I’m learning how to get the most of these sessions and to provide better experiences for people ‘dialling in’.