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Tactics for killing bad meetings
24 January 2022

Tactics for killing bad meetings

Unveiling the Art of Virtual Workshop Orchestration: My Deep Dive into Workshop Tactics

Hello, I’m Vanderpool. As someone deeply engaged in the design and facilitation of both in-person and virtual sessions, I’ve constantly sought tools that enhance our ability to solve human-centered design problems. Today, I want to share an exploration of a fascinating resource that has significantly improved how I manage and orchestrate workshops—introducing the “Workshop Tactics” card deck by Charles Burdette and David Hill.

The Genesis of My Exploration

It all began with a realization about the pervasive zoom fatigue that many of us experience. This fatigue often stems not from the medium itself but from poorly structured meetings and workshops. As professionals, we might lean heavily on digital platforms like Zoom and Moodle, expecting these tools alone to lead us to solutions. However, the true art lies not just in using these tools but in how we orchestrate the entire session to extract meaningful outcomes.

What is Workshop Tactics?

Workshop Tactics isn’t just a tool; it’s a comprehensive strategy system encapsulated in a robust box set of 56 beautifully designed cards. These cards are divided into two main sections: the first provides guidelines on using the deck effectively during sessions, and the second offers a plethora of exercises aimed at enhancing workshop productivity.

Diving into the Deck

The first few cards serve as an introduction and reference guide, outlining various categories and exercises color-coded for ease of use. This categorization is brilliant for quickly identifying the right exercises to address specific workshop goals, understanding the problem at hand, or ideating creative solutions.

For instance, if you’re unsure about the direction of your team’s project or the biggest challenges they face, the “Understand” category provides targeted exercises to gain clarity. Similarly, the “Ideation” and “Decide” sections are invaluable for brainstorming and prioritizing ideas.

Orchestration in Action

One aspect of the card deck I find particularly useful is its emphasis on orchestration—how you guide participants through the session to ensure productive and engaging interactions. Each card not only suggests activities but also offers a timeframe and detailed instructions, making it easier to plan and execute sessions without the guesswork.

Best Practices and Practical Tips

The deck also includes cards dedicated to best practices and logistical reminders—everything from workshop checklists to icebreakers. These elements are crucial for creating a conducive workshop environment, especially in a virtual setting where engagement can quickly wane.

A Closer Look at a Specific Card: Crazy Eights

Let’s zoom in on the Crazy Eights card. This card is a fantastic tool for virtual ideation, providing a structured, time-boxed format for generating multiple ideas quickly. It’s not just about the activity; it’s about seamlessly integrating it into your session using digital tools, enhancing the collaborative experience.

Concluding Thoughts

Workshop Tactics has become an indispensable part of my facilitation toolkit. It has transformed my approach to designing and leading workshops, making them more dynamic, structured, and effective, whether in-person or online.

I encourage all facilitators, project managers, and anyone involved in team workshops to explore this tool. It’s more than just a set of cards—it’s a gateway to more efficient, engaging, and productive workshops.

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your experiences with workshop facilitation and any innovative tools you’ve found helpful. Let’s continue this conversation in the comments below, and as always, thank you for joining me in this exploration of effective workshop facilitation.

Are you suffering from Zoom Fatigue? The problem isn’t about how much screentime you’re getting, but rather the quality of meetings that are happening. So it’s time to kill bad meetings and shift focus towards unlocking your team’s imagination – and dare I say, have some fun. I share a tool to help you design and orchestrate impactful workshops and meetings in this video. Workshop Tactics is a curated set of techniques within a nifty strategy system that will help you improve your next workshop or meeting.

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