I was delighted to be invited to plan and facilitate a strategic envisioning workshop with the global management team at ThoughtWorks. It was back in June 2010 in Gurgaon, India. (I should mention i paired with shelley beeston on this).
The process we developed focused on :
- envisioning the measure by which we can assess our success
- extending the horizon of our shared vision of the future
- and elevating the aspirations of our intent as an organization, and the desired impact we want to have on the world.
In the end, after a series of workshop sprints and lightning talks designed to encourage a broad range of divergent ideas and emergent thinking, the group eventually circle back to the bold ambition of being the “Blueprint for the Humane Corporation” and defined a stretched view of the ThoughtWorks 3 Pillar Framework (Sustainable business, Software Excellence, Social Impact). Obviously i can’t provide much detail on the exact outputs, but i can talk about how we approached it.
When planning the workshop, everyone we talked to warned us about how impossible it would be to keep the workshop on track. A room full of the most brilliant, energetic and high performing people at ThoughtWorks presented a formidable challenge…. so we spent a lot of time planning and structuring the activities. We even created individual passports for participants with a path for navigating different tables (so that they all got to work with different people in different activities over the two days)
We wanted to ensure the process was highly visual, and focused on producing tangible assets. One way of ensuring this was to focus activities around visual templates (using the grove visual meetings methods as a base)
Some of templates we developed for the workshops are shown below…
It was an amazing experience, working with a set of the most intelligent and thoughtful people around. Since then, the leadership team has been using the 3 horizons model to sort the initiatives into a program of work. Its great to see the outputs of the workshop now having a real impact on the ambitions and plans of the organisation.