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Seb Anthony

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Has anyone got any ideas for “planning” roadshows / workshops ?


I have been asked to launch some "planning" roadshows to highlight the importance of planning to every body in the company and I am looking for some ideas !

Its such a huge task I don't know where to start doing something a bit "different " and something that will be of use to all levels of the business - any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I want to steer clear of traditional stand up training.
claire barber

8 Responses

  1. Something different for training
    An alternative approach could be via Arts and Business, who give workshop/training based around the Arts – a member of staff returned from a workshop saying it was really alternative, great fun and very useful. It’s a charitable organisation with a thoroughly professional approach. They may be able to tailor something for you. Contact Michael Blake on 01273 738333 or

  2. Roadshow alternative
    I was going to suggest the Arts in Business organization. Especially their various ‘live’ theatre groups who can, with careful preparation, enable groups to visualise situations and see those situations in action. There are a number of these business-focused theatre groups around.

    When you say a ‘roadshow’ are you aiming to undertake actual training or increase awareness (or both)i.e. is this a skills or attitudinal issue?

  3. Who has ‘asked’ you and why?
    My first suggestion would be to question the whole thing. If someone has asked you to do it, you need to establish why. The danger is that it is not a perceived need by the majority and you will end up with people attending the events with a negative attitude. The more ‘alternative’ it is, the greater the likelihood there will be of delegates complaining about style over substance as well as questioning the relevance. As you identify the need, ask the same people for some solutions. My guess is that your average delegate will identify 80% of their development needs and 80% of the solutions. Your role would be to facilitate the delivery. The delivery methodology is in the detail.

  4. “planning” roadshows/workshops
    Hi Claire,

    Without knowing the nature of your business, time and budget allocation, I can only suggest a generic response. You could use the adage of the five p’s – Prior Planning Prevents Pretty Poor Performance.

    I am assuming that your remark ‘I want to steer clear of traditional stand up training’ implies that you are trying to avoid lecturing. In a workshop scenario, your role would be that of facilitator.

    I would do some research within each business unit (at all levels) to source evidence of successful and non-successful planning activities (assuring anonymity to all concerned). Use this information as case studies.


    Discuss with the group the merits of planning, success and the consequences of failure. Create a forum by using an example from your collected data. You could use a volunteer to describe the experience (prior planning required here)! From the discussion and example, create bullet points (in line with your objectives) that could be noted on a flip chart, for reference during discussion/exercises. Form your delegates into teams with a good mix from different departments and levels*. After the introduction and the discussion of your salient points at high level, provide the case studies as handouts (the case studies should be mixed with other examples of success and failure with the end result removed). I would suggest that you have separate exercises to prevent reading ahead and distraction. Have each team analyse the case studies, allotting an appropriate time. Depending on time and course goals, either discuss the conclusion or have the team elect a spokesperson (rotating) to present the outcome. Ideally this would emphasise perceptions of success, failure and methodology.

    The purpose of the exercises is to identify the case study conclusions, the best method of planning, the cost and consequence of poor planning, the promotion of teamwork and diversity. As some of the information originated from within your own environment, it should be perceived as relevant to all concerned.

    You could also use your own experience in the planning and success of this project as an example. I am sure that all delegates will empathise with your initial dread of ‘I don’t know where to start’. Perhaps this is a good opening gambit?

    * Some may argue that mixing levels of employees is not advisable. However, depending on the company ethos and culture, this could be seen as beneficial in this particular instance. If this is an issue, the simple solution is to ensure a mix of departments.

    I hope this is of some help to you. I would be interested to hear how you decide to proceed, and how successful the project is. If I can be of any assistance, feel free to drop me a mail.

    Good luck!


  5. In addition to Clive’s comments
    Not to repeat what Clive said, I have used that method and it works. Additionally the Backflush Priject Planning approach can give another perspective. Get participants to imagine they are at a point in the future where Success is. Get them to look around and describe what they see (behaviours etc) Then get them to figure out how they got there, what did we do, when who etc. It is sometimes easier than the forward planning process and validates against it.

  6. question why the training is required
    I would be very cautious about why this needs to be done, and be carfeul of the sausage machine approach Ie everyone attended therefor things will be better.

    In terms of structure you need a good planning model to base it all around whatever that is there are many about.
    Make it a two hour session 10 till 12 fits in well.
    Mixed audience
    Get them to identify planning failures in groups,
    gather feedback identify main causes of poor results .
    introduce model
    get them to work a silly example in groups ie social etc.
    Review how it felt .
    get sign up to model .

  7. Planning sessions that are “different”
    Hi Claire,

    Although I agree with most of what the other contributors have said I dont really see any of it as “different”. Please feel free to email me and I will do my best to help.

  8. Innovative Planning Workshop
    Hi Claire,

    I have used a board game to help facilitate planning workshops. Ir runs with 2-12 people working in up to 3 teams and takes half a day to complete. It is based in 4 parts with the first part being where the participants establish their planning strategy, the second part being where they acquire the deliverables within their planning strategy, the third part being where they deploy their strategy and test its outcome and the final part being a review to see what worked & what didn’t and to consolodate the learning. This game is suitable for experienced and inexperienced planners and makes (what can be) a dry subject interesting and challenging. Please contact me if you want to know more. Regards,

    0788 079 0815


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