Click herI’ve recently learnt some new techniques to help teams improve collaboration and run more effective meetings. Here is a small experiment you can run with your team which uses a simple framework to generate a large amount of ideas and decide upon a course of action.
THE TRADITIONAL MEETING:
1. Think of a challenge you want to solve in the meeting (something general that everyone can benefit from) E.g.
- How can we improve the office environment?
- How can we improve communication in the team?
- Which conference should we go to this year as a team?
- Something that make sense to your team
2. Give your team 10 minutes to come up with a solution
3. After 10 minutes ask them what the conclusion was and also ask them what they felt about the process. Was it fun? Was it easy? Are they happy with the solution?
A DIFFERENT WAY OF WORKING (10 minutes)
1. Think of another challenge that you want the team to solve. A different one.
2. Give each person sticky notes, small round sticky voting dots and a sharpie
3. Introduce the exercise to the team
- They will be writing down lots of ideas in a short time
- Don’t worry about the quality of the ideas, just the quantity
- One idea per post it note
- Needs to be legible and simple to understand
4. Generate ideas (5 mins)
- Tell everyone to write down at least 15 solutions to the challenge in 5 minutes.
- Focus on lots of ideas, not good ideas
5. Visualise the ideas (1 min)
- Ask participants to stick all ideas on the wall
- Remove obvious duplicates
6. Vote (2 mins)
- Give everyone 10 dots
- Tell them to silently vote on the ideas they like
- No voting rules.
- They can vote on anything and place multiple dots in one place
7. Re-visualise (1 min)
- Separate out the top 5 ideas
- Order by number of votes
9. Straw poll vote (1 min)
- Give everyone 1 dot (ideally different colour or bigger)
- Tell them to silently vote on the ONE idea they like the most and they are willing to commit to.
- The idea with the most wins
- Alternatively the “decision maker” can decide which of the top 5 ideas will work for the team
10. Ask them what they felt about the process. Was it fun? Was it easy? Are they happy with the solution? Which way of working was better?
Let me know in the comments if this is something you’d be willing to try in your next meeting. If you do try it I would love to hear how it went in the comments.
I’ve been a UX designer for more than 15 years and a big part of the job involves looking at what other people have done for inspiration. Another, more cynical way of saying that is, the job involves looking at other people’s work for ideas that you can steal and use as your own. I’m kind of joking of course, it’s not really like that but borrowing and adapting are a huge part of any design work.
The first time I learned about Design sprints was in 2017 while on a course about web page optimisation. The trainer told us briefly about how design sprints allow you to develop ideas and test them with real users quickly. He also told us about something he called a “Design sketching session.” It’s a way for a team to generate lots of ideas quickly and it demonstrates why stealing ideas can be fun.
When to do this:
What you need:
Step 1: (10 minutes)
Step 2: (10 minutes)
Step 3: (10 minutes)
Step 4: (10 minutes)
Step 5: (10 minutes)
This can be a great replacement for a typical 1 hour meeting where you can get you and your team together and actually achieve something productive and have fun at the same time.
Let me know in the comments if you try this out or let me know if you want other ideas for collaboration - I’ve got loads of fun exercises you can do.