Need A Workshop Facilitator? 5 Ways A Rainmaker Knowledge Café Can Transform Your Business You have a new project at work. You organise a meeting and get the team together. You desperately want to hear from everyone, including internal and external stakeholders .. However as usual the same voices dominate the discussion and everyone else nods quietly in agreement. Sometimes getting everyone’s perspective helps. That’s where a Rainmaker Knowledge Café comes in.
A Knowledge Café is a workshop where participants sit in small groups of four to eight people at a table, like a café. Participants at each table discuss one specific question for 20 to 45 minutes. At the end of each round, one person stays at the table and the rest of the participants move to other tables. The person who remains at the table acts as a host to welcome the new participants to the table. The host summarises previous round’s discussion for the newcomers. Then the newcomers share their observations from the previous round and the discussion continues. In the third round, participants have the option of returning to their first table. A new question can also be introduced to deepen the discussion. After several rounds, the whole group share their discoveries and insights. The Knowledge Café builds on the collective knowledge of the group to develop possibilities for creative action.
1. Increased Participation. Sometimes the most dominant people do not have all answers. In a Knowledge Café all contributions are valued, from board members to junior staff. Working in smaller groups helps quieter people feel more comfortable and gives them the chance to get their views heard. Decisions are made that take account of a broader spectrum of opinions.
2. New Perspectives. The Rainmaker facilitator will listen to everything that is said and accurately feedback the discussion to the group. The facilitator will help the group and remain open to input from all group members. People who perform different roles in the company may have conflicting ideas. Facilitation brings different views together to form a fresh perspective on a situation.
3. Creative Solutions. The supportive environment of the Knowledge Café allows groups to make creative decisions. Instead of focusing on the problem, groups concentrate on the desired future state that they want to achieve. Working backwards from the solution allows participants to think more creatively.
4. Faster decisions. The Rainmaker Cafe speeds up the decision-making process. Participants focus on their first intuitive responses, which often lead to higher quality decisions than a long drawn out analytical process. Participants continue to build on the decisions made at the Knowledge Café once the workshop has finished.
5. Improved Motivation. People are more committed to plans they help create than plans that are simply imposed upon them. Sometimes managers are afraid that junior staff will make bad decisions. However, our experience tells us when people are well-informed of the facts and work together in a safe environment, the collective knowledge and co-operation of the group leads to better decisions. As a result, staff are motivated to implement these decisions more quickly and effectively.
We’ve run Knowledge Cafes for the NHS in Central London bringing together patients, clinicians, charities, public health professionals and politicians. Our clients have used Knowledge Cafes for strategic planning and developing new projects. Rainmaker Knowledge Cafes focus on building creative plans and achieving successful solutions. Find out more about Rainmaker Knowledge Café can help your business.