An overview for facilitators and team leads on how to run a workshop.
How does a Common Understanding Workshop flow?
- Strategy/transformation information is shared with the team via Context Sharing using the TG App and any other resources provided by the transformation lead.
- Teams discuss the strategy/transformation.
- Teams answer the specific Common Understanding workshop questions (given to each team by the transformation lead).
- Answers, opinions and suggestions are then listed and then prioritised by the team.
- Any actions to be followed up will be assigned an owner.
- The team lead or facilitator inputs the answers from the workshop into the TG App.
Workshop Objectives for managers and leaders
- To give managers and leaders the opportunity to share key messages about the strategy/transformation.
- To give managers and leaders the opportunity to make thestrategy/transformation tangible for their teams.
- To give managers and leaders the opportunity to listen to their teams and gauge their understanding and alignment of and towards the strategy/transformation.
- For managers and leaders to be clear if their team is fully aligned, aligned but has questions or not aligned with the strategy/transformation.
- Workshops to become a place for innovation and brainstorming.
Workshop Objectives for teams and individuals
- For teams and individuals to gain clarity and increase their understanding of thestrategy/transformation.
- For teams and individuals to discuss together how they can best work for the strategy/transformation.
- For teams and individuals to know tangibly how the strategy/transformation affects their work, what they need to do and what not to do
- For teams to discuss and prioritise what is important for them
- For teams to decide if they are fully aligned, aligned but have questions or not aligned with the strategy/transformation.
- For individuals to have chance to air any concerns or ask any questions
A suggested Common Understanding workshop agenda
- If you are running the workship remotely, check everybody’s capability to use the digital tool you are using to run the workshop.
- Explain that you attended a Common Understanding workshop, explain the purpose of the workshop, read out the objectives for teams and individuals and set the ground rules.
- Describe the Common Understanding workshop cascading process.
- Show the Common Understanding feature in the TG app and explain that the results of the workshop will be input and visible for everybody.
- Share the context of your organisation’s strategy/transformation.
- Show and discuss the context sharing part of the TG App.
- Share and discuss any additional resources given to you by your transformation lead (which you will have seen and discussed in your first workshop).
- Facilitate the discussion of the specific Common Understanding workshop questions.
- Vote on the alignment of the team regarding the transformation/strategy.
Information you will input into the TG App
- top 3- 5 verbatim answers from the team to the specific Common Understanding workshop questions.
- team alignment
The answers to the specific workshop questions should be agreed and prioritsed together as a team.
The team alignment process is as follows:
Ask the team - 'Are we as a team fully aligned with the Common Understanding Topic?'
There will be 3 possible outcomes:
- 👍If YES - 'Yes we are fully aligned' is the response for the TG App and you can wrap up the meeting and update the App
- ❔ If MAYBE - Confirm with the team, 'Do we have questions which need to be answered before we get full alignment?'
- 'We have further questions before alignment' is the response for the TG App and refer to the Actions and next steps agreed during the workshop (see section below Next Steps if there is partial alignment and questions need answering).
- ⛔ If NO - Check and confirm with the team, 'Can I confirm that we are not able to align with the common understanding topic?' The answer should be ‘No, we are not able to align’ and this is the response for the TG App (see section below Next Steps if there is no alignment within the team) .
❔ Next Steps if there is partial alignment and questions need answering
If your team have further questions you now have some next steps to consider:
- What are the specific questions and actions that need to be taken away from the workshop?
- Who owns the specific actions and next steps?
- Who do I need help from to get the answers?
- When will I collect the team together to ask if they are aligned, now they have had their questions answered?
It is worth putting a short timeframe around these activities so that the workshop is still relevant when you call the team back together.
If you have all the answers and actions completed within two weeks the workshop will still be fresh in the minds of your team.
⛔ Next Steps if there is no alignment within the team
If your team is not aligned your immediate manager may be best placed to assist you as you work with your team. They will also have attended their own Common Understanding workshop and will be able to offer a new perspective on your team’s situation and why they aren’t able to align.
The outcome as you work with your team is to ideally gain alignment and to have this through understanding and genuine commitment. The goal isn’t to gain alignment without buy-in and understanding from the team, nor is it to have false alignment.
We suggest you work with your team after the Common Understanding workshop to fully understand the reasons why there is a lack of alignment and to work with them on their understanding of the transformation or strategy change; to demonstrate your willingness to work with them to overcome any barriers or misconceptions.
- Am I clear why my team have concerns and are not able to align with the topic of the workshop?
- What do I need to do to start to get alignment from the team?
- Who else can help me?
- What do I need to do to move this forward?
- What actions do I need to take?
- When will I collect the team together to review their alignment, now they have had their questions answered?