SessionLab Library by Robert Cserti
An interview with a Toolbox creator
What’s your name and role?
What’s your toolbox all about? Why does it exist? What problems is it aiming to help solve?
We want to help people to design and run better workshops. In general, workshops are quite costly when they are run badly, just consider the time (and salary) of the people involved.
There are people who are experienced with designing and facilitating workshops, but oftentimes, workshops are run by people who are not primarily ‘workshop facilitators’ by profession (e.g. managers, team leaders, anyone needing to run a workshop with a client). So we want to help them with the right tools — which, in our case basically means two things:
- A session planner application, that helps you keep your focus and attention on the design process.
- A public library of workshop activities and workshop templates, so anyone can find good inspiration and learn about new methods on how to run effective workshops -> This is the what you can find at https://www.sessionlab.com/library and https://www.sessionlab.com/templates
Who developed it? What was the team that you put together?
The workshop activities and templates that you can find in our library are coming from two sources:
- Individuals using the workshop planner tool of SessionLab. Some people are glad to share their knowledge with the community, so individuals can publish their favourite workshop activities and session templates through the platform.
- We partnered with some organisations who have their own toolboxes to have those published on our platform (so, anyone using the workshop planner tool of SessionLab can easily add those activities to their session plan), such as the Internation Association of Facilitators (IAF), Hyper Island, Gamestorming, Thiagi, and Liberating Structures.
How do you practically use the service in your work? And how do others use it?
The main use case is that people using the workshop planner tool of SessionLab (to design all different types of workshops, meetings and training sessions) browse the library and they pull activities from the library to their workshop designs.
As for ourselves personally, we also look into the library when looking for new methods to facilitate our meetings and company strategic retreats 🙂
What do you think is next for the service? Do you have plans to update or change it?
Yes. While there is still space to expand it (to contain more diverse tools and methods), we want to put more emphasis on curating it so the best pieces of activities and methods can emerge easier.
Also, there are a number of things we want to improve to make it easier to search and find tools if someone is looking for an activity for a specific goal.
So yes, we want to improve it both in terms of the UI and the content.
What’s your opinion on the idea of toolboxes in general? At this point, everyone seems to have their own! When are they useful and not useful?
I think we are a bit of outlier ourselves, as we are rather aggregating workshop activities, then coming up with a new toolbox/framework ourselves. However, for each situation and profession there can be a fitting use case, so the proliferation of toolboxes is not necessarily a bad thing.
I think the big value is that toolboxes provide a framework on how to address certain problems. And taking up a new perspective (new toolbox) to look at a challenge can be really useful.