Digital Workshops bridge the divide between plans and action
Do you ever get involved in creative workshops, strategy meetings or project reviews, where you collaborate with others to brainstorm ideas or prioritise tasks, capturing content with Post-It Notes?
Many of them, whatever their qualities, suffer from a fundamental problem in that all too often the creativity, collaboration and feedback end as the participants leave, with administrators having to manually transfer those luminous ideas from sticky notes into documents, spreadsheets or other traditional files for onward distribution.
This is time consuming and often loses all-important meaning and context, curtailing the innovative process and reducing value from time spent together to a minimum. With no straightforward way to translate ideas and content to a supportive, actionable framework for the project, the team or the organisation afterwards, it’s no wonder so many workshops generate so little tangible benefit. It’s time for a better way.
Knowledge Transfer is the Problem
The idea of ‘transfer’ suggests some kind of distance to be travelled, or gap to be bridged. And every time the knowledge is updated, it’s time for another ‘transfer’ — another slog to get across the chasm to reach the people on the other side. Of course, people involved in implementing or executing the ideas from the workshop need to know about those ideas and have access to the latest developments. They should also be able to easily feed information back from the real world to allow actions to be refined and better aligned, but without constantly having to go the extra organisational mile each time.
Taking ‘Transfer’ Out of the Equation
If workshops and forums are organised in the right way, the knowledge shared and the insights generated can be captured on the spot in a format that is instantly shareable with all concerned. In this case, we don’t have to deal with the challenge of transfer any more, we just have to give access to the right people. And by allowing those people to access supporting resources (like powerpoints, videos, charts), explore relationships between the different points raised, visualise timelines for action, and comment on and discuss progress at any time, we solve the problem of distributing knowledge updates as well.
Back to Basics with the Digital Workshop
It’s called a digital workshop because it uses digital technology to make the workshop more efficient and to facilitate real action once the workshop itself has ended. But what a good digital workshop really does is to durably set up the kind of natural give and take the environment that makes the best workshops so valuable and to extend that environment into the action phases that follow.
The digital tool or software you use to do that must be intuitive and easy to use, especially for people who are not necessarily IT experts. First, use the tool to capture and organise workshop thinking and conclusions, then continue to use it afterwards to add relevant resources and ensure everybody sees the most recent version and can interact with it at any time.
Not only does it make multi-functional teams a workable reality (no more siloed thinking, thank you), but it also extends naturally to involve participants as required from other companies and organisations. You can apply appropriate restrictions in the form of user access permissions but other than that, team imagination is the only remaining limit to how far and how fast such digital workshops can go to generate lasting, positive change.