We are used to conventional structures when we come together to discuss something. And discussing things is the most part of our days as Salesforce professionals: new ideas, requirements, challenges, demos, options, alignment, troubleshooting, design, training…
The ways we often operate is that the overarching structure is either too inhibiting – think of things like:
- status reports
- managed discussions
OR too loose and disorganised – things like:
- open discussions
- last minute catch-ups
Both sides of the spectrum are just not fit to creatively engage people in shaping their own future.
Think about your last 5 meetings.
Hosting conversations in this way frequently generates feelings of frustration and/or exclusion and all in all they fail to provide space for good ideas to emerge and germinate.
I argue that this means that huge amounts of time and money are spent working the wrong way. Therefore more time and money are then spent trying to fix the unintended consequences.
SO… I want to introduce 3 structures under 30 minutes for you to add into your tool box of meetings.
The key benefit of this is that it ensures everyone is included, allows you to tap into existing know-how, and helps to increase connections and enrich ideas. The impact goes beyond the meeting itself.
In essence you engage everyone simultaneously in generating questions, ideas and suggestions
It works this way:
1 min self – this gives time for reflection on the subject at hand
2 min pairs – explain to one another, help open up perspectives
4 mins in 4 – extend the reach
5 mins each group shares an overview – so the wider group benefits from all
(hence the name of the structure)
This one comes in handy as an icebreaker to get people involved ready to share throughout. Especially in situations where the group may be too big or may not know each other well. Encourage people to connect to those with whom they may not have crossed paths yet.
It’s a structure that helps to rapidly share challenges and expectations for the session ahead. Whilst building new connections, those will endure and continue as a bridge beyond for the days to come.
Some guiding questions can be displayed to help the participants, things like:
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What challenge lingers from our last meeting?
- What hunch are you trying to confirm?
Each round lasts 3-5 minutes, and you can decide how many rounds are there depending on time.
What, So What, Now What
Leaving this for last, as it helps to reflect on shared experience, I use it a lot after trainings or other sessions.
At its core this enables a group to look back together on progress made to date and with that information then decide what adjustments are needed, from the learnings of the experience, why the experience is relevant, and what actions will be taken.
It has 3 phases:
1 Discuss in small groups the WHAT. It’s about describing the experience. What happened? What did you notice, what facts or observations stood out?
2 Then discuss SO WHAT. Why is this relevant, why is that important? What patterns or conclusions are emerging? What hypotheses can you make?
3 Then outline actions from the NOW WHAT. This comes after the above steps to avoid jumping into ‘solutionising’. What actions make sense?
Afterwards, each group explains to the wider group to retain that new light as institutional knowledge.
So which structures do you have under your belt? What has caught your attention? What have you experienced? And what are you going to try out? Tell us!