May 29, 2019
013 – How to make meetings better by using workshop techniques – with Alison Coward
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In episode 013, I talk to Alison Coward, a founder, facilitator, book author and keynote speaker. Alison runs Bracket, a consulting agency that helps teams work better together. We talk about “workshop culture” and the fact that not every professional gathering must turn into a workshop. Instead, we can use workshop elements that will help boost team collaboration and creativity in meetings and everyday business. In the show, Alison shares how to create a workshops culture with groups who are not used to post-it notes and sharpie markers. Alison’s reflections on creativity at work will inspire you to design and deliver workshops that work.
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Questions and Answers
1:11 What’s the story behind your company name “Bracket”?
5:15 What did you learn from your time working with creatives about the facilitation of business meetings and workshops?
6:43 How do you get management teams to become more “creative”?
7:48 How do you facilitate creativity without getting into the “touchy-feely” zone and how do you turn the outcomes into something productive?
9:45 What will you then do with these ideas to get to the productive bit?
11:53 What is the timeframe you advise your clients to take for a workshop to tackle a specific problem?
13:21 What is the difference between a workshop, a group discussion and a meeting?
15:48 How can we bring the dynamic part of a workshop into a meeting?
19:30 How would you initiate this transformative process of introducing workshop culture into a team?
26:08 Do you have ground rules that come along with what you call “workshop culture”?
28:05 What are the ingredients you need to bring workshop culture into a “normal meeting”?
28:36 With what kind of exercises would you use for that?
29:38 Not every team can afford hiring a facilitator for a “normal” meeting. Could a team member take on this facilitation role?
34:33 Do you believe in taking mindfulness into meetings?
35:50 How do you deal with a situation where a check-in comment risks to take the meeting somewhere else?
36:54 What’s the magic that gets work done in a workshop?
38:06 To what extent is the facilitator responsible for the follow-through of workshop outcomes?
40:37 How can we bring the energy back up in a full day workshop – especially after everyone comes back from lunch?
45:03 Why are organisations today so much more aware of the benefits of collaboration compared to 10 years ago when you first started? What has changed?