Yesterday I worked with the Healthgroup of the ERRIN network on issues around Digital Health. This was part of the matchmaking event they had organized around new Horizon calls. I was asked to present something from my recent experience with the different projects. But last Friday this changed into; can you give a workshop to 18 people? That left little time to prepare and I had to come up with some improvisation.
Best improvisation I had available was to try an experiment. I had no idea who would be in the group. What their experience was, or their recent project history etc. Basically I was starting from scratch. I thought a perfect opportunity to use a problem definition canvas and see what would happen.
The group was very diverse and from different countries, so it wasn’t so easy to find common ground to start from.
I started with a small introduction what we did in the CIALE project and worked from there. Then I offered them a whole lot of trigger questions to start the proces. We only had about one hour to work with. (Lesson 1; 60-90 minutes for a workshop is too little time if you are not sure what the follow-up possibilities are…)
The three groups started working and I explained to them how to capture thoughts, group them, discuss the input etc. (Lesson 2: always explain why to write with a big marker and one word per post-it…)
As I was walking around I noticed that some groups were further and quicker in capturing their process thoughts and ideas. I observed it for a little while and saw that the group making the biggest progress was the one actively engaging everybody and took turns in putting stuff on the board. (Lesson 3; Make sure everyone is on their feet, literally!)
After about an hour we closed of with a plenary recap to find out that this was new to most, exciting for some, but generally rewarding in capturing and structuring thoughts and ideas around a very complex situation. So with little preparation it is still possible to get a lot on information from a very diverse group of strangers in a very limited amount of time.