An overview of Common Understanding workshops and how you might choose to run them in your organisation.
- Common Understanding is designed for everyone to fully understand what the strategy and transformations mean for them and their team in a practical and concrete way.
- Common Understanding is run in the form of workshops which cascade out from the leadership team.
- Every team is given the same information and asked the same questions so there is total consistency to facilitate alignment.
- The workshops are a forum for everyone to understand how the strategy change or transformation affects their daily work and decision making.
- The workshops allow individuals to speak freely, influence, air their opinions and discuss any concerns within their team.
How are Common understanding workshops cascaded?
Common understanding starts with the most senior team within the organisation or unit area which is piloting the use of TG.
The specific Common Understanding questions are initially decided upon within the senior team. These questions then form a key part of every workshop run across the organisation.
The person facilitating the first workshop runs it within the most senior team and inputs two key pieces of information into TG:
- The alignment of the team towards the strategy/transformation
- The answers to the specific Common Understanding questions
Each subsequent workshop is then time boxed to happen week on week with the next level teams. This way you can easily expedite the understanding and build transparency as the workshops cascade.
What does alignment look like in the app?
The diagram shows:
- teams which have run their workshop - green line
- teams yet to run their workshop - grey line
- Full alignment
- Partial alignment
- No alignment
Example questions you could ask as part of a Common Understanding Workshop
- What excites us about the new strategy/transformation?
- What do we believe will be the benefits for our team?
- What do we think may be the obstacles or challenges for our team?
- What information do we need clarified for us as a team?
- What additional resources do we think we may need to deliver our part of the strategy/transformation?
- What concerns do we have about the strategy/transformation?
What concerns might arise during Common Understanding workshops?
- How I can manage my day to day work with these new changes?
- I don't fully understand what I am meant to do.
- What does this transformation mean for me?
- What do these changes mean for us as a team?
- What do we need to focus on as a team?
Often during any major change these questions either go unanswered or are only partially answered. This can be stressful for individuals and have a negative effect on their work performance and general well-being.
Yet, when these questions can be answered fully it increases engagement, enhances resilience and reduces stress.