6 steps to turning messy ideas into concrete next steps with The British Chamber of Commerce

Hanna Jepps | 25th November 2023 | 4min read

The Future Green team with Participants from the BritCham Committee Chair

With the beautiful view of Central greeting us at the meeting room in The Executive Centre at AIA, we were energetic and excited to run our ‘Innovation Workshop’ for The British Chamber of Commerce (BritCham) where we met for deliberation on our workshop question to solve: How might we work more innovatively together, leveraging collective action, and plan for an exciting 2024?

🎙️Step 1: Context Setting with Expert Interviews

We jumped straight into doing an ‘Expert Interview’ , with BritCham Executive Director Paul McComb, sharing his challenges for the coming year. Expert interviews serve as a method for the team to take notes, in the form of questions, i.e. turning challenges into “How Might Wes”.

Paul and Jeremy sharing their challenges during the Expert Interview

Step 2: Sailboat exercise: Identifying positive

With the end of the Expert Interview, we started our popular Lightning Decision Jam. This part of the workshop allows teams to save time and collaborate efficiently. We absolutely love this and it is the perfect way to solve problems fast!

A personal favourite of mine, a simple tool to identify wins and challenges, it serves as an excellent starting point for establishing a clear vision of the team’s desired end-goal.

Together, Alone. Participants were first asked to silently write out (this cuts out noisy discussion) on sticky notes the things that are working well, then take turns sharing them. It is always great to start on a positive note and identify and appreciate what is already being done by different teams!

🚧Step 3: Sailboat exercise: Identifying the blockers (challenges)

For the challenges participants were asked again to write in silence on sticky notes. With everyone scribbling away it became clear each team member had a lot to get off their chest. Challenges that arose included issues around procedures and capacity.

Participants concentrating hard!

🏆Step 4: Categorise: Sorting our Way to Success!

A top exercise for problem-framing, clustering the challenges sets the stage to structure and present a clear overview of the prevalent issues. We then gave the participants red dots to vote on what they think are the biggest issues to work on. A lot of discussions came about during this exercise and we loved that! The enthusiasm and ideas bouncing off the walls was just fantastic. In the end, three most voted challenges were identified for ideation and solution creation.

Intense discussions and thoughts at play whilst categorising

🤔Step 5: Solutions

10 for 10. With the challenges reframed as questions, participants were asked to brainstorm solutions silently for the top-voted “How Might Wes” writing as many solutions as possible in 10 minutes. It was great to see participants writing down all of their ideas – we could feel the ideas were practically buzzing through their heads. Solutions were voted on to prepare us for prioritisation.

📊Step 6: Prioritisation

Last but not least, Action Board the effort and impact matrix. A straightforward yet handy 2×2 scale to figure out which solutions to tackle first and which ones can wait. We debated where to place these ideas on the scale.

The entire team ideating

🎬And… that’s a wrap!

A lot was done in 1.5 hours and participants left with a more concrete idea on how to tackle pesky issues by turning problems into solutions and landed on what to tackle first and which to leave for a longer term project. It’s great to see what (sometimes) begins with scepticism turn into a useful and actionable outcome.

It was an absolute blast to have run this innovation workshop to solve for a BritCham Committee Chairs Group challenge, and we look forward to delivering more amazing ones in the future!

Also looking to align your teams and tackle challenges in a highly structured and time-efficient way? Reach out to us today: hello@futuregreen.global