We’ve been running a series of knowledge strategy projects for natural resource management regions across Australia. The activities culminate for each region in a two day workshop where participants design a set of projects and interventions to improve their knowledge environment.
To guide people through a process of designing their projects we divide up a sheet of butcher’s paper (also called flip-chart paper) into steps for small teams to work on to help them plan their project. I’ve noticed that the way we divide up this paper and the tools we provide seems to have a big impact. This is not evidence nor proof, just an observation.
Here is an example of one way I’ve divided up the paper and what the small group of participants wrote.
Now here is another example where I provided a much larger space for brainstorming (a separate page) and suggested they use post-it notes to capture their brainstorming ideas. We also gave them finer tipped felt pens.
Their ‘Organise’ section spilled over into another sheet of butcher’s paper plus there was yet another sheet dedicated to brainstorming. This change toward more detail seems to hold for all the groups in the workshop.
It seems people will fill the space you provide and as a result the second group engaged in a more rigourous and deliberate thinking. Mind you, it could have just been the people in the room.
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About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:
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