Before you start, meet and talk with as many people as possible to start building rapport.

Tena Kotoe Katoa. Welcome. I’m Kit. My background is (reassure them they are safe in your hands and you’re qualified to lead them)

Thank you for your time (some kind of  gratitude or ego stroke)

The purpose of this workshop is…
Today we’ll be [overall mission ]
Doing [activity] and then [activity] And after lunch, we’ll [activity]
There will be some teamwork, some individual writing and some group sharing.
We’ve got a lot of exciting activities to do today. So when we’re doing individual writing, it’s important you focus on that.
By the end of the day, you’ll have [overall outcomes with tools].

My role today will be as host and facilitator. I’ll be giving instructions and keeping time. So I’m asking for your permission now to potentially interrupt your conversation or raise my voice in order to keep us on task. Can I get a show of hands that you give me permission?

Set the tone: This is a space for you to feel free to be:

  • creative, silly and dream big.
  • fail, experiment and to challenge each other.
  • no right or wrong ideas or answers here,


Interactive conversation to engage them. How many of you…? Show of hands?

The research shows…

According to the National Training Laboratory, research shows the following average retention ratesfor different training methods:

  • 5% Lecture
  • 10% Reading
  • 20% Audio-Visual
  • 30% Demonstration
  • 50% Discussion Group
  • 75% Practice by Doing
  • 90% Teaching Others

Decades of research have consistently shown that brainstorming groups think of far fewer ideas than the same number of people who work alone and later pool their ideas”

8 Tactics for igniting a controlled burn

  • Take a longer time perspective on the issues
  • Take an outside-in perspective, focusing on external drivers of change
  • Turn the challenge into a game or simulation
  • Focus the discussion on key assumptions, not conclusions
  • Have people walk in the shoes of others
  • Make the group grapple with tough trade-offs
  • Agree on neutral criteria for making choices
  • Set and maintain clear boundaries and ground rules


core work-related skills, 2015 – 2020, all industries

  • Creativity 52%
  • Active learning 42%
  • Active listening and critical thinking 39%
  • Emotional intelligence + teaching others 37%

Over ⅓ of jobs will require complex problem-solving, currently 4%


  1. Walkthrough: Show how to do something.
  2. Exercise: Have everyone actually try to do that thing (while you wander around and help people one on one).
  3. Debrief:  lead a discussion of where people got stuck, what parts were fun/hard/frustrating, and what things people learned, or realized they want to learn. Show people’s individual work, rather than your own, to the class to help explain your insights and observations, and as way to invite them to share theirs. Lead a healthy critique session.
  4. Repeat, with a more challenging thing.

Facilitating prioritisation tools

A word of warning It’s easy to deviate from your process and get bogged down in endless discussion. What starts as an attempt to briefly list the pros and cons of each option can easily be diverted into a full scale hour long discussion on just the first option. Be wary of this, and stick to your chosen process. Only if the process itself is clearly not working should you abandon it and go for another! Prioritisation, by definition, involves choosing some ideas over others. This means that throughout your prioritisation exercise you’ll be discarding ideas. There are 2 possible pitfalls that you can easily avoid:

The first is throwing away an idea too early, deciding later that you were too hasty, but not having written it down anywhere. So always note down ideas and keep hold of the notes until the decision is finally made. If new ideas arise, put them in the parking space.

Secondly, people are usually more attached to the ideas that they thought of, so if you’re facilitating, be wary of throwing ideas away too lightly and offending people. It can help to remind the group regularly that you’re looking for ideas that are best for the group as a whole. You can also ask permission to discard ideas, and thank people for being willing to put aside their personal preferences.

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