This post contains the activities for Day 2 of the strategy retreat. For more information and the links to the activities from other days, please see the strategy retreat post.
Farmers’ Market - Aspiration Tech. The farmers’ market is a mechanism to extract as much information from different people’s heads as quickly as possible: brainstorming on multiple topics simultaneously, on speed. (Instructions: Coming soon - I’m hunting down a writeup of the methodology.)
Output 8: Multiple lists of resources on any topic you require. We had lists of different types of resources which people needed to do their jobs better and resources which had been built by other organisations since we last had a planning meeting, which we should consider building on, or at least not duplicating.
Review of Goals - What we actually did. This session emerged out of the strategy and scissors session on day 1. (See day 1.). You’ll remember that by the end of Day 1, we had lists of objectives in our strategy which we knew we needed to discard or revise and a list of new aspirations. In Strategy and Scissors, we were aiming to work out which objectives we should be pursuing in our strategy and which activities would support reaching them. However, there had been an assumption that the activities outlined in the plan would be the only ones we would do. In practice: we improvised. Some members of the team felt that there were some objectives that we had achieved, but not through the methods we initially intended. We had done a lot of things that were not in the original plan as opportunities emerged and we needed to work out which of those had helped us, and which not. We gave people a list of the high-level objectives which we had said we wanted to achieve a year earlier and asked them what they had done to acheive those things.
Output 9: We ended up with a list of methods which were not in the plan, but we could then estimate for time and work out whether we wanted to continue doing.
- "Tricky Retrospective" - devised by Dirk Slater. There are always negative things that a team needs to surface, but a mechanism needs to be found to keep sessions positive so that people do not dwell in the negative space. This was an excellent mechanism of surfacing things that the team were unhappy about, while keeping them positive and working out how they could be part of the solution.
Output 10: Firstly: A list of things appreciate about our current setup - which we should work to maximise. Secondly: A list of issues we need to work on and a list of people willing to help in the solution.
DELIBERATELY LONG LUNCHBREAK
- Looking forward - Part 1: Partners and collaborators - A dating game. As an early stage project, we did not have a good typology of different types of partners. We had taken them on new partners as and when we felt appropriate, rather than having a particular partner strategy. It was time to sit down and do two things: 1) Do a dating game: Work out which characteristics would make a partnership not work, work out which ones made us like a partnership and which ones made us want to 'commit for life' - or a long time - so that we could carefully pick which ones we should go with in the future. 2) Create a typology of partners - so that we could meaningfully distinguish between partners in the future.
Output 11: A typology of partners which can be communicated publicly!
- 'Closing circle' to produce a short summary of each day so that we could share it with the community afterwards. (The results).