Help Wanted: Inspiration for an Engaging Workshop?
It happened this day that I got a chance to conduct a workshop with business with the goal to clarify business strategy & needs to the level which helps us to define a target architecture (for now whatever a target architecture means). Put it simply, I expect a discussion about business strategy & needs, asking questions and trying to understand what characteristics a target architecture should have (for sure to be flexible and cheap, no question about that).
Now, the environment I am in is quite challenging, not always with a positive attitude among stakeholders or in general to the need of defining a target – let it be a certain future state or at least a direction – to this kind of discussion (“Read the strategy thoroughly and you’ll know what we need, stop bothering us” [over-exaggerating a bit here, just for illustration]). Yet I am not that skeptical though, so I am looking now for any inspiration that could help me lead such a strategic workshop with business that would exhibit the following:
- Is really engaging for business representatives. Here I mean that they are willing to stand up, move, show interest, take a pen, sketch, discuss, think, creatively counter-argue… to literally participate and with positive attitude.
- Creates “safe”, friendly and open atmosphere to express opinions and thoughts
- Enables wider audience to take part – so we overcome the need for later alignment among core team members
- Leaves the feeling that the workshop was useful, inspiring, perhaps even with a momentum for change, leaves a sort of emotional footprint that something was special and increases chances for commitment to further actions
More concretely, I am looking for ideas and inspiration on how to organize such a workshop, which “tools” to bring, how to moderate it, which ground rules to set and how to motivate certain collaborative attitude, perhaps a creative way of capturing stories, ideas (I assume business will talk more in terms of examples, experience or similar).
Anybody out there with a hands on experience willing to share few thoughts? (A piece of magic would do too!)