Thursday, October 05, 2006

What makes a GOOD workshop:

  1. Clear purpose and objectives
  2. Strong facilitator
  3. Engagement of participants
  4. Clear process and structure
  5. Good use of physical space
  6. Collaboration between participants
  7. Short burst sessions
  8. Strong and quick follow-up
  9. Good time management
  10. Effective planning and preparation

What makes a BAD workshop:

  1. Unclear objectives
  2. Lack of structure and preparation
  3. Lack of participant involvement
  4. Poor facilitator
  5. Slide presentations / lecture
  6. Poor time management
  7. Not fun
  8. Egos
  9. Inflexibility of process
  10. No follow-up

Moderated Comments on this Blog.

So, for some reason, even though the setting for moderating comments is 'off', they are still being sent to the moderator - me.

I don't want to do that - I hate moderation, this is an open discussion and I'll rectify as soon as possible.

Bear with - but keep it going!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fun is self-explanatory

Wicked Workshops should:
  • be original to differentiate from other meetings
  • be physical to get people more active
  • be memorable so participants remember you and what was discussed, so that they can evangelise the output
  • take risks to get the creative juices flowing but plan for what might go wrong and mitigate against this
At the Euro IA conference we tried to make the workshop session fun by:
  • taking a huge risk by running a workshop of this size, but we mitigated this with lots of prep
  • getting more poeple to move around and get away from their desks
  • getting everybody to stand up and make a teapot
  • having a bit of pressure music to encourage focus and give more of an atmosphere

C is for Credible

Wicked Workshops must:
  • ensure that the process is clear to the particpants
  • ensure that participants have faith in the facilitator and the process
  • ensure that people trust the output
  • ensure buy-in from the particpants
At the Euro IA conference, we tried to ensure the process was credible by:
  • explaining the objectives and goals within the handouts and in our "What this session is and isn't" intro ramble
  • explaining the process for sessions verbally and written on the sheets
  • keeping the partcipation sessions relatively simple
  • using multiple facilitators to help explain the process and keep people on track

I is for inclusive

Wicked Workshops must:
  • limit the effects of hierarchy
  • handle difficult people
  • encourage particpation from all
  • break the ice between participants
At the Euro IA conference we tried to ensure that the workshop sesison was inclusive by:
  • breaking people into smaller groups and using muleiple facilitators
  • encouraging everyone to contribute
  • asking people at the back to swap with people at the front
  • allowing people to add post-it notes if they didn't want to shout out
  • setting up this blog to get more feedback from those not present or less comfortable with talking in the group

P is for Practical

Wicked Workshops must:
  • be focused on practical tasks that produce actionable output
  • develop solutions for relevant problems
  • have tangible outputs
At the Euro IA conference, we tried to make the workshop session practical in the following ways:
  • gathering data on what makes a bad and good workshop with the sheets of paper to supplement the survey we are conducting
  • broke people off into different groups to generate ideas of hjow to make workshops epic fun so that we could share the data with the wider community
  • got people talking about workshops in breakout groups

E is for Engaging

All workshops should engage all participants involved for the duration of the session. In fact, they should be engaged before during and after the session.
  1. People should know why they are there
  2. People should know what their contribution should be
  3. Time Pressured
  4. Participants should be well prepared
In our workshop at the EuroIA we attempted to do this in a number of ways:

  1. We framed the session with a small piece of pre-thought
  2. We tried to inject some energy into proceedings
  3. Two of us facilitated to keep it fresh
  4. We had break out exercises
  5. We used music
  6. We used NO powerpoint slides
  7. We attempted to involve people who were quiet
  8. We drew out content from as many people as we could
  9. We prepared
  10. We prepared
  11. We prepared

Monday, October 02, 2006

So - What did you think of our session and the framework of EPIC-Fun?

We captured the audio if you want it, just let us know and we'll stick it up on the LBi ftp server.


Welcome to the Wicked Workshops blog.

This blog has been created to encourage others to build on our thinking around wicked workshops and the content we exposed on Sunday at the Euro IA conference.

We shall be launching this blog and doing our first presentation on Wicked Workshops at the Euro IA conference in Berlin on October 1st 2006.

The idea is that everyone joins in and adds content, but to do so you need to be added as an author. To do so please email either Warren or Jason and they'll add you to the list.

In the meantime everyone can add comments.

Our intention is to start adding posts on different techniques we've used, as well as add more content about EPIC-Fun.

We hope you enjoyed the workshop we ran, we did. We'll share the content with you soon - just as soon as we get home from Berlin - our flight was cancelled you see!