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8 Strategic Workshop Facilitation Resources

Strategy and design are inherently collaborative. And workshops are an essential part of an inclusive and accessible design process that leads to the co-creation needed to produce great and effective work. Especially if your work is built on the principles of human-centered design. For nonprofits and agencies who want to apply workshop facilitation strategies with attention to an inclusive design process, there’s no shortage of philosophies on workshop collaboration—and an equally large number of different frameworks to apply. Especially now in the new world of remote, online workshops.

Over the years, we’ve tried a lot of them—and we’ve made up a bunch of our own. What we’ve learned is that, regardless of what methods you use, emphasizing open dialogue, creative problem solving, and using well-defined exercises that are understood and accessible to all are essential to designing brand experiences that are closely aligned with a nonprofit’s brand strategy. They’re also invaluable to ensuring that our strategy and design work are closely connected to our values and higher purpose.

Making sure that everyone who needs a seat at the workshop table has one and then setting them up for success will unlock a diversity of perspectives, opinions, and ideas on which to build your brand. If that sounds right up your alley, then this month’s Constructively Curated on facilitating strategic workshops is just for you. We hope they’re helpful and inspire you to take your work to new heights.

Virtual Design Sprints: An Overview 

This comprehensive guide includes how-tos and lessons learned by the team who hosted TED’s first-ever virtual design sprint. From basics and a how-to guide, to specific activities, outcomes, and more, this is a great place to start if you’re looking to become familiar with facilitating virtual design workshops.

A Design Sprint & Collaboration Podcast with Robert Skrobe

Robert Skrobe, the organizer of The Global Virtual Design Sprint, and an owner of his own design sprint organization, joins The Naked Ambition podcast on this episode to discuss the transition from physical to virtual design sprints and how to effectively workshop and communicate virtually.

The Creative Problem Solving Institute Conference  

The Creative Problem Solving Institute, hosted by the creators of “brainstorming” The Creative Education Foundation, is the longest running creativity conference in the world. The annual conference focuses on teaching individuals of all professions new skills and tools for creative problem-solving.

Remote Workshop Facilitation: SessionLab

SessionLab is a tool to better design and plan your virtual workshops, with templates, timers, and organizational tools so you can host with confidence. Sessionlab’s Blog and Library of Facilitation Techniques for download are both immensely helpful for getting started workshop planning.

LEGO Serious Play

The LEGO Serious Play methodology is based off of research showing that hands-on, minds-on learning can open meaningful and interesting dialogues for an organization. Participants are led through activities using 3D Lego models as a jumping off point for collaboration and creative problem-solving.

Leo Chan on Creative Facilitation 

In this podcast episode, graphic designer and innovation leader Leo Chan discusses a host of resources for innovation and creative workshop facilitation. Workshop activities, innovation and workshop facilitation training, books on creativity, successful workshop examples—all of these topics are covered.

Facilitating With Confidence & First Time Mistakes  

The guest on this podcast episode, Suzanne Rose, a Sergeant of the Queensland Police Service in Australia, runs professional development workshops for training staff. Her and host Leanne Hughes discuss facilitating with confidence, increasing participation, and how to avoid first time mistakes.

Atlassian My User Manual Playbook

This activity betters your team’s collaboration by allowing each team member to communicate the conditions in which they work the best. Team members create user manuals outlining what they need to effectively communicate, work, and collaborate—and then share with the rest of the team!

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