The Collaborative Workshop: A Tool For Working Together Better

Organizations are used to work in a meeting-based culture, which has in many cases shown not to be very efficient as it doesn’t allow the participation of all members, it doesn’t create a space for sharing solutions or different points of view on the problem to solve. Most of all and this is even more evident when the organization is trying countless hours, to find a solution to a small problem, without being able to fix it. So, how can we overcome this?

Workshops are a great tool to start a project. Whether you want to change your website or you want to identify the biggest potential that your company has. Workshops can provide a lot of value to your organization.

In general, they consist of a collection of tools that are designed to improve teamwork and participation between different groups within an organization or within different groups from different organizations.

Collaborative workshops happen when groups of people and/or teams are brought together in a place to find solutions after analyzing the core problems. All of this is backed with a methodology and facilitation that helps the entire process for an optimal outcome.

Workshops Vs. Meetings

Meetings normally go like this: a person calls a meeting. That person defines an agenda of the issues to be dealt with. Presents the problem, some possible solutions. There is some time for discussion and that’s it, time runs out and now there’s just enough time left to schedule a next meeting — which means repeating the process. This creates a non-efficient way of working together.

Unlike meetings, workshops are designed to create value through the participation of all individuals. They are built from the ground up with a methodology that sets a playground where people can contribute openly while having a structure and set of rules that will increase the chances of getting to the desired outcome. This is the way that meetings should be held.

Benefits of running a workshop
Motivation and engagement
When everyone in a team has the chance to share how they see a problem and work together with others to create a solution, the people involved build momentum and create a shared vision.
In one or few days you can achieve work that otherwise could take weeks with a traditional meeting-focused methodology.
Participation & Team-building
Thanks to the nature of collaboration, workshops can help to bring teams together and get an understanding of how other people visualize a problem. It can help to improve the work between different teams, by not just explaining what the problem is but mostly working on it together.
Different perspectives
When you put people of different profiles and backgrounds together as a result you get a great diversity of points of view that can have an important impact on the quality of the project result. For example, when you bring people from different teams like sales, marketing and design into a workshop they will each share a unique angle on the challenge your company is facing.
Workshops are an important space to listen to others and understand the point of view of those who are currently in charge of the project and it’s also a space to understand the feelings and thoughts that are not normally talked about on a daily basis.
Get to know your company better
You will have a better knowledge of what’s happening inside of different teams, realize new opportunities to take advantage of and you may find some potentials along the way that you can address in future workshops.
And most importantly, workshops can be quite fun, they allow you to interact, think, brainstorm, draw, present, all the things that are more engaging than the usual way of working.
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Workshops are very different from typical meetings and they can provide a lot of value to your organization. Workshops should be run every time you need to start working collaboratively on a project in your company or with an external team, since, they create an efficient and effective way of tackling a problem. So next time you schedule a meeting, think twice and try it with a workshop!