Which workshop?

Check out these two workshop descriptions and you’ll see the same structure:

Not just the same structure, but the same materials too. What’s the difference?

The difference is context and objectives:

  • In the transformation mapping workshop, the participants share a context – their organisation – and the workshop’s objective is to formulate a response to that organisation’s needs
  • In the practitioner workshop there may be little or no shared context; participants are there to experience and practice, often building on what they may have already read (not that reading is a prerequisite)

They aren’t mutually exclusive:

  • A recent private workshop made significant progress on organisational issues in the workshop and in the period following, but many of the attendees could be described as practitioners (subsequently, one participant become an Agendashift partner and has now at his disposal all the tools and materials needed to run workshops himself)
  • A participant at a recent public practitioner workshop later invited me back to his company, shifting the focus from practice back to context

Why make the distinction? A discussion about objectives beforehand is always valuable. Expectations should clear on both sides, it’s important to get the right set of people in the room, and if it’s left to the day of the workshop to think about what happens afterwards, it may be too late.


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