11 August 2006

Trainer tip for a workshop

I was putting together an agenda for a short workshop and it got me thinking about the kinds of tools that you can use in a workshop environment. Plenty of tools exist and many of them are well understood both by the facilitators and the audience. I'm going to describe a tool that I use occasionally, it's very powerful as well as fun for its participants. The best bit is that it isn't used much - I've never seen it used at all and I've been in plenty of workshops.

The tool is inversion. Sometimes workshop audiences lack creativity in terms of thinking up business development or indeed, process improvement ideas. As a race, Brits are brilliant at thinking up how things could be made worse - what this tool does is capture that type of thinking and then invert the output.

Question: How could the business be less effective than it is?
  • use poorly trained staff
  • deliver poor quality product
  • deliver late
You get the picture from my high level and rudimentary examples. Once the list is reasonably comprehensive and prioritised then you can invert the bullet points -
  • how can we train staff more effectively
  • how can we deliver high quality product
  • how can we ensure we deliver on time
I promise, this can work powerfully and because it is relatively novel, it will engage with the audience.

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