O. H. I. (or how to facilitate a workshop/strategy discussion)

Observations. Hypothesis. Ideas.

In the process of facilitating a workshop today, I was struck with how quickly we arrived at some great epiphanies. As I went back and reviewed what all we did and how it came together from a process standpoint, I extracted a few elements that seemed to really stand out that had never crystallized for me up to this point in doing these types of things before.

I’m running with a working title of the “Behavioral Facilitation Model.”

I realized that the questions we were asking and posing were driving toward honest observations of where things are now, where the client wished they were and, most importantly, the constraints preventing or opportunities yet to be grasped that stood in the way.

As I mentally moved from those questions and answers to the next set, I realized we jumped right into crafting some potential hypothesis for what may be causing those issues, what was potentially driving the behaviors that would trigger what they needed to happen.

The final part of the facilitation seemed to then end up with simply putting words to ideas for how to communicate the solution to the observed pain points in a better way.

This reminded me a lot of a great little acronym I learned from a friend who is a Senior Manager at Amazon called the S.T.A.R. method. (Situation, task, action, result) As I continued thinking through the process I have for facilitating value proposition workshops and ideal customer workshops, I found this three part acronym to be very helpful.

I am even more intrigued to begin experimenting with other ways to use it in future meetings and facilitations.

Utilizing this method within the structure in the graphic above is a great way to get started. Let me know if you have any other tips or tricks you would add to this process to get more out of it. I am always anxious to learn.