Running a great workshop

Tips that apply across workshop phases

  • Effective co-creation combines independent thinking with collective discussion. Give participants a decent amount of time to think independently during the relevant sections of the workshop 
  • Go for quality not quantity in each phase. Get each participant to submit one or two ideas independently and then open for discussion with the facilitator capturing additional thinking
  • When creating content suggest participants make the name short and snappy and use the description to bring their thinking to life
  • Push participants to detail out the content they create. Unlike a sticky-note there is lots of space to be specific, adding examples, quotes etc. Post the workshop, this detail will significantly increase the likelihood of successful execution
  • Break-up into pairs or two or more groups with one-person acting as a scribe on their device. This works well if have more than 10 participants
  • Blend the physical with the digital. You can start a phase with a physical exercise (drawing a picture, building with Logo) and then digitally capture the thinking in Axis. Drawings etc. are great to make people think differently and written text is the most effective format to drive execution post the workshop so blend the two
  • Within phases give enough time to collectively curate the content, combining and blending ideas. As the facilitator capture discussion within the description to enrich the content
  • Be ruthless. Ideas can be de-selected. Open it up to the group whether any ideas should not progress into the next phase. This discussion can be hugely valuable. Any de-selected ideas are not lost, they will be in the workshop download

Tips for each phase


  • Use share to break the ice and challenge conventional thinking and get people used to the digital workshop format
  • Keep the phase under 10 mins


  • Kick-off frame with a video or some other stimulus that gets people to think about the context in which they are operating
  • Only take through three to five themes (you can select up to eight) into the create phase. Keep them sufficiently high level whilst still helping people focus idea creation on the highest impact areas


  • The facilitator can pre-add ideas ahead of the workshop. This allows you to capture ideas from people who are unable to participate ahead of the workshop to make sure their thinking is reflected 


  • Invest a significant amount of time in the scoring process. Scoring 50 ideas is a big undertaking and the results are worth it:the power of the wisdom of crowds cannot be underestimated
  • Focus the discussion on the ideas at the extremes e.g. where there is a big spread in participant scoring. Tease out the reasons for people having different opinions and try and reach a consensus position


  • Leave enough time for action, too often it gets de-prioratised. A successful action phase is critical to ensure the workshop delivers value: great ideas only matter if they get executed 


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