World Café – Strategic Communication Conference

Rainmaker Coaching provided short notice support to National Grids Interconnectors Strategy Roll-Out conference. The aim of the conference was to re-confirm the business strategy and ensure that key staff members were able to input to the strategy and feel that they contributing.

There were over 60 delegates and we proposed using a ‘World Café to answer the question: “What are the critical few things that need to be done to move us from now to the future?”

As well as speaking and listening, individuals are encouraged to write down some of their results to inform subsequent people at that table when continuing with this topic. In the case of the National Grid Team, the outputs were written and drawn on the table clothes which made it more entertaining and enabled the rotating groups to ‘catch-up’ and add to existing outputs.

A set of SMART actions identified as a takeaway and there was a lively debate in plenary. Overall people found the novel exercise engaging, inclusive and fun.

World Café – Strategic Communication Conference
World Café – Strategic Communication Conference

Source: The World Café:

A World Café is a structured conversational process for knowledge sharing in which groups of people discuss a topic at several tables, with individuals switching tables periodically and getting introduced to the previous discussion at their new table by a “table host. An underlying assumption of World Café events is that collective discussion can shift people’s perceptions and encourage collective action.

Advantages include:

  • Exploring from a wide frame of reference
  • Maintaining high energy, enthusiasm and engagement
  • Sharing and understanding
  • Drawing out the thinking and contribution of the more introverted attendees
  • Creating a focused set of conclusions

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