Intuition – The X factor critical to generating ideas collaboratively but not something one expects over a Teams workshop involving a dozen people across five time zones, multiple languages and ethnicities. Unlocking the power of collective intuition had been my forte in the hundreds of workshops I had conducted during the pre-COVID decade. I was a firm believer that the revolutionary efficiency of Zoom/ Teams could never deliver the magical inefficiency of unstructured intuition and ideation. Physical workshops were the Hogwarts of collective intuition, and “Remote Meetings” were the Death Eaters! I had completely stopped doing such workshops.
As COVID dragged on, Teams, Zoom and Google Meet tried to address the issue with rooms, Whiteboard and Jamboard. I experimented with these shiny new toys but quickly realized that remote meetings had become camera-off, mute-on time capsules when people multi-tasked; learning new ways to jam about ideas was an extra behaviour change no one wanted to do.
One year into COVID, I found inspiration from an unlikely source. My middle-school son was attending remote classes and he was sharing ideas with his classmates! His teachers had found a way to keep self-learning and collaborative intuition alive. There were no new shiny toys, just basic stuff- Google Search( text, images, Youtube), Google Slides, PowerPoint, the laptop’s camera, and the Chat inside Google Meet.
I had my Eureka moment- stick with the familiar, just tweak it to make it a little unfamiliar.
- Define the challenge and expectations with the decision-maker, not the minions co-ordinating the workshop
- Zero meeting time for information sharing; send everything as pre-reads a week in advance
- Energy is the key to intuition so break up the workshops into several 2-hour sessions
- Child-like output format: create a simple, visually evocative frame that can hold 7-15 words to headline the idea (e.g.billboard, front of pack, etc.)
- Create trigger questions and populate the frame with idea starters to fire participants’ intuition
- Encourage people to submit their ideas a few hours ahead of the session. Curate the ideas into themes
- In the session, invite creators to explain their ideas. Allow them to use a few supporting slides by sharing their screens
- Use the trigger questions and ideas to generate more ideas
- Do not use the session to operationalise the ideas; stop at overall ‘explore/discard’
- Let the core team work through the operational implications and send it out as pre-read for the plenary session with the decision-maker and stakeholders.
- Close the exercise with a final 60min decision-making session
- Cameras on! Ensure 100% attention throughout the session.
Can this make ” Remote Intuition” scalable, fun and effective? The answer is Yes!
Want to find out how? Let’s chat over a coffee, WhatsApp me at +6593891694