Here is another learning from the ARL (Action Reflection Learning) workshop – always co-design with the client for learning or meeting facilitation event. Get the sponsor to suggest a person as soon as possible in the design process. I am trying this out now with a team effectiveness workshop. To me, it is a great idea because:
Relevance – The design will be more relevant to the actual situation. Specifically I can avoid making obvious mistakes e.g. politically in the design. Having an in-house co-designer is thus more important to the external facilitators;
Different perspectives – I can readily gain different perspectives on the situation early instead of just relying on those from the sponsor. This is essential for team effectiveness workshops when counting on only the sponsors’ view can be biased.
Early influence – If it is a learning intervention, I can start to install the intended learning early to the participants by first doing so to the co-designer. [Of course, if this is the intent, I should opt for an opinion leader as the co-designer.]
Buy in – Having someone from the client side to design together will enhance the tendency for buy-in into the process. In short, to a certain extent, the design somehow ‘comes from the participants’. At the very least, co-designing builds such perception.