FACILITATING CREATIVE THINKING

A Creative facilitation framework developed to help organizations think creatively to help think out of the box about the problem they may be facing.

Group Project
Project Duration: Jan - March 2018
My Role: Creative Facilitation Framework, Toolkit, Project Management, Prototype development, Concept Development, Testing, and Improvisation, Visual documentation.

 
OVERVIEW

We started out with: 
Our goal was to be able to develop a framework/ toolkit to facilitate creative thinking and after developing the toolkit we needed to implement it with an organization as well.

Going forward:

So our first step was to understand how facilitating a workshop helps people to approach problems to work toward a solution and also the various tools that exist which help in facilitating the same.

Who?

Facilitated workshop with Savannah Bicycle Campaign

Why?

For us to develop the skills to help induce creativity in/for an organization. Facilitation helps people to open up to creativity by breaking down barriers which help in the progression of objectives. 

Incubating creativity within an organization brings different teams together in order to arrive at a creative solution and rethink problems/challenges.

CHALLENGE 

Problem Statement: 
To think about ways of increasing membership for Savannah bicycle campaign with activities designed to reframe the problem.

From our understanding after multiple meetings with Savannah bicycle members, we felt there would be value in helping them reframe the problem. Since the board members were going to be a part of the workshop as well, it would bring their multiple perspectives to converge on one problem and engage in a conversation.  

The objective of the workshop

was to walk them through the process of diverging, discover and develop in order to reframe their problem.

FRAMEWORK / PROTOTYPE 
 

The goal we set for ourselves while conducting any workshop was to allow the participants to think differently through various activities. 

Our approach to the development of our framework was achieved by looking at various design processes. We referred to the Double Diamond tool and thought of ways it could be adapted to our goal which led us to develop our three core categories: Diverge, Discover and Develop and six subcategories: Explore, Gather, Synthesize, Define, Generate, Plan.
 

3D's FrameWork

3D's FrameWork

Diverge

Diverge

Discover

Discover

Develop

Develop

PROCESS 
 

It was essential for us to do as many facilitations as we could in order to:

1. Develop our skillset to facilitate a creative workshop

2. See how our frameworks work in order to further refine and develop for the Final workshop.

3. Evaluate our tools selection based on how people react, collaborate and understand its use.
 

Our Run throughs 1 & 2

Our Run throughs 1 & 2

Run through 1

Run through 1

Our Run throughs 1 & 2

Our Run throughs 1 & 2

Run through 2

Run through 2

FINAL WORKSHOP FACILITATION
 
Agenda

Agenda

Tools under 3D's Framework

Tools under 3D's Framework

Website uploads33

Website uploads33

Space planning (Anticipated vs Actua

Space planning (Anticipated vs Actua

Time (Anticipated vs Actual)

Time (Anticipated vs Actual)

Ice Breaker exercise

Ice Breaker exercise

Rich Picture exercise outcome

Rich Picture exercise outcome

Dreams and Nightmares exercise

Dreams and Nightmares exercise

Prioritization grid

Prioritization grid

Crazy 8's in Action

Crazy 8's in Action

Estimate-discuss-estimate outcome

Estimate-discuss-estimate outcome

FEEDBACK

Expectations: 
They expected us to tackle the problem that was discussed at the beginning regarding membership. And it was also expected of us to come with active and engaging exercises; mentioned they weren’t disappointed.

Experience:
Considered it useful for new members and helpful to get them integrated into the organization. It helped them realize the different perspectives that exist. They appreciated our ability to stand back and let them work.

Take away: 
Noticed a lack of awareness of the organization’s activities, which indicates to him (John Bennett) that he hasn’t communicated sufficiently what is happening. Now, the organization is moving to better inform its board members. It was considered a great warm-up for the SpringBoard Retreat Meeting coming up. 

 
OBSERVATIONS

Space: 
The space used consisted of one large table for seated drawing activities, one table for sorting activities, and a framework posted on the wall. This allowed us to separate the activities in order to engage the participants fully with the activity at hand. The act of moving from place to place helped them stay energetic and focused. Having to move to the location of activities made it less likely that someone could be overlooked during an activity. 

Participants: 
Having a variety of older and newer board members helped the newer members understand existing problems. Also, members from different backgrounds brought a variety of experiences to the workshop. 

Framework: 
Our goal while designing our framework was to aid the organization in re-framing the problem. The workshop was meant to bring the members together and to collaborate outside their usual workspace. By using our 3D’s framework we chose tools for this workshop which equipped the participants to diverge and discover. By diverging from their pre-existing positions they were able to discover unexplored spaces. The scope of the workshop was limited to the generation of insights while the next steps were to develop these insights, a process they would undertake themselves.

Time: 
The actual time spent on the activities ended up being less than what was planned, except for the discussion activities, which exceeded the planned time. During the workshop we observed participants discussing next steps to take the idea forward. They were engaged in a discussion which took much longer than initially anticipated.

LEARNINGS
 

- I learned that the key to a successful facilitation is to lay down the tools and step away. 

- Not to interfere with the work of the participants.

- The real value of the workshop is in the follow-up. It is important to bring together what was discussed and look at the steps to move forward. 

- Be prepared for potential eventualities, and be adaptable to changes. 

- The creativity aspect of a workshop does not refer to their personal artistic ability or talent but to approach problems with an open mind.