Are you having trouble hosting productive workshop sessions? Do you want to avoid “blah blah blah” conversations and create a more focused experience? In this post, we share how the Business Model & Value Proposition Canvases can be powerful tools for productive conversations in a business and strategy workshop.
The tips in this post are from a conversation we had with workshop facilitator and author Alison Coward. You can listen to the whole interview in our StratChat here.
Note: The tools and resources mentioned in this post are available for free in our Resource Library (link at the end of this post). Try them out in your next workshop!
If you’re planning on hosting a workshop event in your organization to discuss and communicate business strategy and new business ideas, you’ll want to make sure that the conversations are productive, focused, and structured. To do this, it’s important to make use of business tools that can help to capture and facilitate those conversations.
Over the years, we’ve seen how the Business Model and Value Proposition Canvas can be powerful for encouraging tangible conversations when designing and running workshops, as well as acting upon ideas generated within your workshop after the session.
There are three very distinct reasons that the Business Model & Value Proposition Canvases are helpful tools that can improve business and strategy workshops:
1. Tools create a guided framework for conversations.
The Business Model and Value Proposition Canvases already come with a structured framework of the things you need to cover in a workshop discussion. We developed trigger questions, laid out in the tool, that guide participants on what areas need to be covered, and to prompt their thinking. Some examples: we pose 7 questions to assess your business model design; have exercises where you have to design business models around particular constraints or templates; and have trigger questions to assess the customer priorities in your value proposition. So when you discuss ideas for potentially new business models and value propositions, your participants can move through the framework to capture, discuss and communicate ideas, assumptions, or evidence.
2. Tools encourage participants to collaborate in different environments.
Our tools are designed to be printed out and stuck on a wall, and this encourages people to get out of their seats, stand, and move around while having discussions. Your participants will be more engaged and interactive because they are frequently collaborating in different environments around the room, rather than sitting around a table and speaking over each other. By placing tools on a wall, everyone can participate and submit their ideas at the same time. Participants don’t have to wait for one person to finish before suggesting something new. That’s important for tip #3.
3. Tools encourage participants to discuss something tangible.
To really remove blah blah blah from conversations, workshops should aim to counter what Alison Coward calls “production blocking”--the tendency for one individual to block or inhibit other people during a group discussion. When people are listening to others, it can also prevent their thought process from contributing to the session. The Business Model and Value Proposition Canvas creates an environment where people can submit ideas at the same time, and use stickies, markers, and visuals to create something tangible directly on the tools. This allows participants to talk about something tangible, instead of just talking to or over each other.
Use These Tools In Your Next Workshop
The Business Model & Value Proposition Canvases are available for free, along with 30+ other tools for your workshops, in our Resource Library. Simply create an account for access. It only takes a moment.