During a Strategy Workshop, participants are encouraged to write down their ideas, assumptions, issues, facts and assertions regarding the strategic direction of the business on ovals and post them on a wall.
We use various tools and techniques to encourage the participants to post statements, to review the statements posted by others and to elaborate on the issues that have been raised. This allows them to see and comment on the thoughts of others in a non-threatening way and starts the process of building consensus within the team.
We then work with the participants to group the statements into clusters of related subject matter (for example, marketing, finance operations, etc.). This enhances the consensus building process through allowing people to further review the statements and clarify their meaning, ensuring that they are contextually accurate.
The final, and most important, step in the process is to link the various statements together using arrows that represent a cause and effect relationship. This process creates what is called a causal map which is subsequently entered into our computer software for analysis and reporting.
This final step is where the ‘magic’ happens as we literally link the thoughts and opinions of different people in a very subtle way that completes the consensus building process and uncovers information about groups (rather than the individuals) ideas, concerns and aspirations for the business.