Engaging ‘storylining experts’ in workshops

Gerard and I were talking about a scenario this morning that I thought was worth sharing: It is one thing to work with teams that know little or nothing about storylining, but what do you do to engage senior people who have been deeply dipped in the methodology?

How do we present to them – potentially when other newbies are in the room too – so that they are not bored?

In sum: keep the session really active while also keeping these people on their toes.

  • Start with a seven-minute story and then an exam – and call it that
  • Work through the questions one by one once they have completed ‘the exam' to identify issues to talk about with the whole group. Don't be afraid to dish it back to them and make them think about the questions
  • Run through any theory either:
    • Using our usual slides to cover off on any theory that they don't know, getting those who are genuinely good to explain things to the others in the room rather than you always doing it, or
    • Teaching through practical exercises, such as Tasprotect and Megastore. Do this by giving some storylining theory and then giving them the unscramble cards to use and coaching them while they unscramble in small groups.
  • Get them to work on real stuff by:
    • Requiring them to bring two docs (prose or pack) to work with their team members on
    • Pairing them up to swap docs and provide each other with feedback
    • Collaborating as a whole room first and then in groups to map out some actual ‘live' storylines

Here is a Powerpoint to guide you through a session like this and another one if you want to focus on the idea that ‘using rigour is what really makes a difference to your storylining'.

If you have any questions,

  • Ask Gerard about the first one, which he used with senior McKinsey people
  • Ask Dav about the second one, which she used with the Woolworths Strategy team in 2015

Dav and Gerard



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