First impressions matter. Especially when you’re commencing on a new path of organizational restructuring, you’ll want to have your entire team moving in the same direction.
Therefore, the first workshop to initiate your organizational redesign journey will set the tone and heavily influence how your new organizational structure will be realized. To ace that initial session and have everyone walking out of the workshop excited and ready to go, consider the following tips for planning your workshop.
Get participants to come prepared
In general, it is usually possible to hand out work tools to workshop participants in advance and to let them prepare material by themselves.
However, when requesting preparation work from participants, you should consider the following:
Seniority of workshop participants: Will they really have the time and appetite to do lengthy prep work?
Capabilities of workshop participants: Do they have enough knowledge to produce helpful inputs for the workshop without facilitated guidance?
Time available and project lifecycle stage: Is there a need to have certain analyses prepared to make progress and deliver against the plan?
High-level questions make the difference
Especially in the initial session, it may make sense to have participants prepared with more high-level questions, e.g., along the scope of the work tools, such as:
Which guiding principles should we give ourselves for this organizational design piece?
What are our strategic priorities and how do you think those priorities should be reflected in our organizational design?
What do you suggest is in scope and what is out of scope for our organizational design work?
Lower the threshold for preparation
Asking participants to prepare 1-3 thoughts in preparation for the session will increase the chance that they’ll actually do it. This will spark curiosity and let participants engage with the topic in advance. Of course, you can still share the tools with them to support their thinking. Just keep in mind that you want to avoid overwhelming participants with questions they can’t yet answer.