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Workshops. I love them.

These are the hours or days that really enable change. The output of a session with a client, or group, or even a single individual, is usually gold. And if it’s not, that’s because the investment only started the moment everyone got together in a room.

Workshops take a lot of planning. There are questions to ask, reading to do, alleyways of thought to wander down and explore, dead ends to reach and new branches to signpost. It’s a lot of work.

Of course, clients don’t see this. Not always. They brief, initial questions are asked and then the project officially begins and dates are set, calendars managed, schedules aligned. The chosen day is when the work really begins.

Except it doesn’t. It begins at the early briefing stages. It involves understanding the strategic reasons behind business decisions, who needs to sign things off, who hold the intellectual power as much as the person who controls the purse strings.

To believe that the workshop is the start of the process is to miss out the fundamental steps that will ensure it’s the powerhouse that sits in the middle. Without the necessary fuel, that engine won’t spark into life. The whole time will be spent focusing on the wrong things, or determining what should be the focus. Dead time.

Change doesn’t happen from a standing start. So get everyone up to speed.