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Three tips for planning a successful meeting or workshop when in a pinch for time.

No time to plan? Try these three things

Someone recently asked us if we were in a pinch (she was) and needed to plan a presentation or workshop without a lot of planning time (she had to), could we tell her the three most important things we consider when designing a workshop or a meeting. We thought about it and then told her this: 1. Ask yourself what is it that you want people to KNOW, to KNOW HOW TO DO or to THINK about differently. This is often referred to KSA (Knowledge, skills and attitude) or Bloom's Taxonomy for learning. The taxonomy has morphed since it's inception in the 70s; you can read more about it here. 2. Then consider what types of activities will best reach that/those goals? If your goal is to have people work more effectively as a team, you might give them an activity with a challenge built in where they have to rely on each other's strengths to complete the task. If you want people to brainstorm towards a solution, you may have them do an affinity diagram of all key ideas. (sample below)

3. Lastly, ask yourself: How will I know if I was successful? - In other words, did you reach your goal(s)? To do this, we often determined at the BEGINNING what the indicators of success will look like. Sometimes success is as basic as someone saying "I really enjoyed the time getting to know my teammates." It might be that the team is walking away with clear next steps. We typically end each session with some kind of debrief activity or set of questions. These 4 questions are from our friends at Development Without Limits: Ask people to respond to one or more of these prompts by filling in the blank: I wonder________________ I wish____________________ I will ______________________ Wow! That was __________________ (or I feel ____________________) So, there you have it. The three basic questions we ask our self when in a pinch and don't have a lot of planning time. Let us know if these tips were helpful!

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