Collective Intelligence Workshops

Purpose

The purpose of the Collective Intelligence Workshops (CIWs) is to organize and facilitate collaboration across teams to achieve a common goal.

Context

Organizations many times require business units and teams to work together. Other times they are trying to find an answer to a problem in a linear way, and the collective intelligence sounds as the way to try to use a different approach looking for an emergent solution in front of complexity and uncertainty.

A Workshop is divided into sessions. We start with a concrete question (north star question) we want to find an answer. This question will guide us through the different sessions and we will be looking into the context and the details about how things are being done to look for the patterns and causes that drive you to be stuck.

Some examples of “north star” questions could be:

  • What are the the next innovation initiatives to be launched?
  • How can we make our HR employees work more efficiently using the new generation of AI solutions?
  • What processes need to be improved and how?
  • How can we improve the communications between departments?
  • How can we promote diversity within the teams?
  • What is the market fit and the distribution channels to be use for our new product?

What is your “north star” question?

The problem?

To have this “north star” question is not the only issue. Many times we all fall in some of these traps:

  • Not enough time.
  • Not enough focus.
  • Lack of a methodology to accelerate the collective intelligence within the organization.
  • Defensive attitudes during the conversations.
  • Blah, blah, blah…

You have heard this many times and you stay in the same situation.

So, what is the biggest problem then?

  • Have clarity about the direction of the work done.
  • And the massive and underestimated cost in reaching agreements.

Reach agreements between business units or different teams is very complex. Gaining clarity about the direction of each team and how efforts are aligned properly is complex too.

Our proposition

We organize and facilitate a workshop that promotes collective intelligence. We do it through the visualization of the landscape where the company, product or group operates. We try to find agreement on how we perceive the reality, but when it does not happen, we try to draw the concrete aspects where we disagree.

The visualization of disagreement is a previous step before discussing agreement.

Why this focus on context awareness? Because when you understand the problem in depth the solution emerges.

How do we do it?

The workshop organizes teams and people together with the purpose of working on a concrete context.

We explain the basis of Wardley Mapping and facilitate the coordination of the efforts of the group.

We start drawing the common context. Once the context is clear, we work on the identification of focal points of the given context.

Do we need to divide into subgroups? Sometimes we do!

These focal points drive the group to be divided in sub-groups. The subgroups work specifically on one or two focal points, doing it in sprints. After each sprint we all review together the advance each sub-group had on each focal point. We repeat the cycle many times. The subgroups are not static, we rotate people on the different subgroups.

When a group is small we just have a common conversation.

We drive the different conversations towards the goal of gaining understanding of the current context: We help you to visualize disagreement and we document it.

These are the main steps we take and how they are organized:

An example of a dashboard we use, differentiating principles, strategy and execution.

The different sessions of the workshop ends with a strategy snapshot that contains context description, assumptions, choices, decisions done and actions to work on before the next session. This enables teams to navigate through these conversations and not walk in circles.

Since the first session we define concrete actions to enable feedback loops, as strategy and execution cannot be separated and we want to land strategy decisions into action.

Benefits?

The format proposed in the Collective Intelligence Workshop has many benefits, the main ones:

  • You and your team will have common understanding of the context where you will be coached in the use of a common nomenclature for strategy.
  • The use of iterations will enable to quickly turn hypothesis into action and feedback that enable you to understand better the context.
  • The identification of duplication enable teams to save time and resources, which drives them into actions of more value.
  • There is alignment and understanding about what others are doing. This drives to the coherence of actions.
  • You drive strategy into action and back, promote autonomy and strategic thinking into the teams engaged into the workshop.

Testimonials

  • “We stopped doing a lot of non-valuable things, and then it was when we started to realize where to go” (Tech Startup CEO).
  • “We have learned a method to get alignment in our efforts, and we will continue with this approach internally” (CTO Lead).
  • “Frustrated when navigating into conversations that were not going anywhere, but now I understand that they are needed to enable emergent ideas that are different to the approach that we used before” (medium size tech company CEO).

I would like to know more about it!

Contact me at: joaquin@mapasllc.com