Why a blank sheet of paper will get you blank looks
I’ve been busy this week drawing and printing some of my signature A0 templates for a number of workshops I’m running in the next couple of weeks. I don’t know why more people don’t do this – if you present people with a blank sheet of paper, you will generally get blank looks. It takes half the workshop for participants to work out what they think you are after – which may not be what you are after.
By providing a well designed template, you accelerate that “what did he say?” period so people can start thinking about the meat of the problem earlier. Also you can use it to set the scope of the exercise. My original fishbone template (above) was designed to make sure that workshop participants didn’t focus solely on technology and included human factors and how technology is used/maintained. Four boxes is all it took and yet I could get hundreds of suggestions from a 35-40 minute exercise which is very good going.
So, don’t throw your participants in at the deep end and expect them to learn to swim – give them a rubber ring!
PS: I’ll publish some of my new templates here once I’ve had a chance to try them in practice.