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Solutions Accelerator - European Activism Incubator
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SOLUTIONS ACCELERATOR

Is your team about to embark on a challenge? Does it need to generate solutions or develop an action plan? Do you want to save time on long meetings and wearisome discussions? The Solutions Accelerator workshop may be just what you are looking for.

BENEFITS

In the Solutions Accelerator workshop, the facilitator guides participants through a structured process to map out an issue (what needs to improve), generate a range of solutions and prioritise them for action.  The technique taps into the collective intelligence of a team, teasing out unique insights and ideas from each member.

 

Crucially, it is designed to achieve concrete outcomes in a much shorter time than is usually possible through team meetings and allows a group to move forward swiftly, minimising frustrations and saving everyone’s energy.

As solutions are developed in a participatory way, it also creates a sense of ownership over the direction taken and enhances internal buy-in for the plans and actions that are subsequently developed.

  • TRAINING IN PRACTICE

     

    The Solutions Accelerator method can be used to move a huge variety of issues forward, in various contexts and for different aims. Here are some examples:

    • organisational restructuring
    • › website (re-)development
    • developing a new strategic approach
    • (re-)designing office space
    • (re-)designing methods of working with members or partners
    • improving the team and the organisation’s internal communications
    • revamping a social media strategy
    • improving a process with a specific aim, e.g. fundraising, recruitment, etc.

  • For the Solutions Accelerator, the sky is the limit – if you are about to embark on a process that would start off with a couple of longer team meetings, to establish what needs to be done and develop an action plan, contact us to check if this methodology could be applied.

     

         Useful for:

    • ›  developing comprehensive solutions, action plans, and strategies
    • ›  saving time on long meetings
    • ›  making sure all voices are heard
    • ›  capitalising on collective intelligence and knowledge in a team
    • ›  building inclusive consensus
    • ›  unlocking people’s creativity

BACKGROUND

Generating effective solutions and developing action plans through team meetings can be difficult to do as smoothly as one would hope and contains potential traps. Here are some reasons why:

 

  • Discussions become lengthy, and follow-up meetings may be needed. The process of getting clarity on the project and moving to concrete action can be slow. Tasks may be assigned without a clear overall direction.

 

  • Various aspects of team dynamics kick in: for example those who tend to be quiet remain quiet, and those who are louder, or have more energy or the most decision-making authority end up influencing everyone else, on the solutions developed and plans made. However, losing insights and creativity of some team members may mean that results are less than optimal and good ideas can get lost in discussions. 

 

  • Office politics may kick in too. For more complex problems, and especially when tackling internal matters, team members may not be comfortable to open up in front of their managers.

 

When one or more of these issues come up, the initial team’s enthusiasm may get drowned in process fatigue and frustration, and the momentum fades away. Team effectiveness and motivation suffer, and the use of time is suboptimal.

 

This is why the Solutions Accelerator methodology is so powerful: it is able to counteract these dynamics, making the process smoother, more complete and pleasant for everyone. The facilitation methods ensure everyone’s voice is heard and views are taken onboard, and produce concrete results in a relatively short time.

CONTENT AND FORMATS

 

The workshop facilitator guides participants through a series of structured brainstorming exercises. Throughout, the participants work alongside each other to contribute to whiteboards and maps that are developed. These activities guide and frame time intervals for sharing views, insights and ideas in a structured way.

 

Through these interactive processes, the participants:

  • map the issue,
  • categorise challenges,
  • generate solutions,
  • prioritise areas for intervention and action.
  •      KEY INFORMATION

    • Duration: 3h*
    • Modes of facilitation: in-house or remote
    • Number of participants: 3 – 8
    • Organisational suitability: private, public, and third sector, citizen’s movements, grass-root organisations, informal groups
    • Inquiries: contact@activismincubator.eu

* in remote facilitation, workshops are usually divided into two parts

Options

 

The workshop may also include an additional detailed action planning phase. It is a natural development from the results obtained but may require an allocation of additional time, especially for more complex problems.

 

Depending on the needs of a team or an organisation and the purpose of the process, the workshop can be offered as a stand-alone intervention, or as part of a larger package. For instance, mapping the issues and potential solutions may be followed by a results report with recommendations, facilitated discussions with key decision-makers to prioritise areas for action and/or long-term implementation planning. Once we are briefed on what the organisation is seeking to achieve, we can suggest a tailored solution to bring the desired effects.

Category

Capacity-building, Strategy & planning, Team dynamics

Tags
consensus-building, decision-making, effectiveness, efficiency, performance, problem-solving, shared vision and mission