This post is by Robin Denton, Jamie Burgess and Ian McKenzie.
Take a look at this picture of flip charts, taken at the end of an intensive strategic planning and workshop session. It might look like nothing got done that day …
… but that just goes to show how deceptive appearances can be.
We recently hosted a strategic planning session for the Corporate Leadership Team of a large local authority at the Microsoft Customer Centre in London. The purpose of the workshop was to determine how to transform their aspirational vision for transforming public services into a set of affordable and coherent action plans.
The session generated considerable discussion and copious notes, observations and recommendations. So, how come the flip charts were blank at the end of the meeting? In a word — Yammer.
Instead of scrawling handwritten notes on page after page of flip charts, we used Windows 8 tablets to fuel conversation via Yammer. This enabled all 50 participants in the meeting to share their thoughts and conduct instant online polls to prioritise recommendations arising from the debate.
The participants in the session had never used Yammer previously and were up-and-running with a simple 5 minute ‘masterclass’ from a Microsoft specialist.
The technology enabled and facilitated the quality of interaction throughout the session and also created an instant, shareable record of discussions and decision for sharing among the participants.
And the flip charts? Well, the customers had asked for us to make them available as a backup to the Windows 8 devices and Yammer — just in case there were technology or user hitches. We said all along our aim was to make the flip charts redundant with an effective application of simple-to-use and innovative technology — result!