Workshop focused on one goal

Our client invited us to organize a workshop for the team. The team has a nice tradition to set up an annual meeting. Two years ago during the workshop they worked so hard that they were more tired than satisfied. So last year they only played. It was nice but they were not satisfied because of lack of the long term effect.

Then they gave us a challenge to prepare business and pleasure combination – two-day workshop on a very specific business goal, but in a nice atmosphere.

Here I’d like to make a digression . Some time ago my copartner Liliana asked me what we did different as a company – from others. It is a difficult question! There are so many trainers, companies which train people. I know that we do a good job, but was it different from others?


And during this workshop I heard one very important sentence (I heard a lot of important sentences, but this one was about us, our company ): You know how to speak about serious subjects in a light way.

I heard this comment several times. But once I was really told. Yes, it is exactly what we do right! We know how to speak, work on hard problems or challenges in a friendly way. It is well known that relaxed people are more creative, find more and better ideas, so we make a big effort to follow this rule.

The end of digression (was it a short break for publicity?)

So what we did this time:

The main goal of the workshop was to find solution to decrease stock level. Participants should leave workshop with precise solutions. We had four different teams from one division and the goal was common for all division.

We started with Ishikawa Diagram. Almost everyone knows it. It is a diagram used to find root causes of the diagnosed problem. But we inverted Ishikawa Diagram – to find root causes of the… success!

Three months ago the team started to achieve goals on the level they did not reach earlier. Goals are really ambitious. We wanted to spend some time to celebrate success and strengthen people.

Inverted Ishikawa was exactly what we needed for that! The good side effect was that participants exchanged different points of view during the teamwork. They recognized that some elements, not very important for them, were clue for others.

During this exercise participants worked in the same team as they cooperate every day.

Next we mixed the teams into interdisciplinary teams – in every group there were people from different teams (we prepared this team composition before training. And we made a little joke mixing people, just for put them in a better mood).

We wanted them to create strong team spirit so we asked to prepare name, logo and short poem about their new team. They did it fast and in a funny way.<br
Next we used a Khaneman idea. Some time ago Khaneman proposed an interesting thought experiment: Let’s imagine that we moved to the future and we realized that all our plans failed. Let’s see now what we missed, what we did wrong.<br
We presented prepared values from 2017 year to participants. Good mood disappeared in this moment, because the results were really bad. We told the story that we received this message from our friend from the future and he asked us to help to avoid this black scenario.

Teams had to detect all actions and causes – what happened that they failed.

Trying to relax them a little we asked one person to give a number – she said -13. So every team had to find 13 causes of failure.

Next we checked all ideas and compared them. Some of them were the same. But in the result we had almost 30 quite serious potential causes of failure.

During the last part of our workshop teams (in formal teams once again) had to prepare solutions.

Several solutions were exactly focused on our goal – how to decrease the stock level.

Others increased effectiveness, work quality or customer satisfaction.

During our workshop we did some funny physical exercises which were good metaphors for solving problems, better communication or cooperation. Every exercise did not last more than 25 minutes with conclusions. Not a long time, but enough to increase energy, creativity and good mood.

Effect of the workshop:

  • Several practical solutions just focused on the main goal of the workshop.
  • Participants’ satisfaction – they worked hard but they did not feel it  because of good atmosphere, some jokes and exercises showed in lighter form. Just flow…

We love workshops like this.

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