This fall we embarked on strategic planning for Exhibit Change with our new core team, Colin and I, and our Makers, Terrence, Emily, Clara and Nisha to spend 1.5 days thinking through where we are headed. This is something we have tried to do before and always stumbled after the initial steps. This time around we felt like we needed to invest in a different way to get the most value out of the process. It was a pleasure to get to spend these days with some of my favourite people, focus our brains and not surprisingly I learned a lot about what it is like to be facilitated.
After a few failed attempts at facilitating ourselves, we finally brought in Natalie Currie to help us out with our strategic planning. Much like a hair dresser trying to cut their own hair, we would have missed the hard to reach spots and only been able to see one perspective. Having a facilitator in the room let us concentrate on the content and not on the process (which was new for us) and such a relief. Natalie was fully warned walking into the room that we are a silly bunch and that her job was to keep us focused and reduce the number of tangents we went on – of course a few still got away from us.
Natalie used a few different sneaky facilitation tricks on us to get to some of the stuff below the surface. We designed a movie script for 10 years from now, an empathy map of our clients, ranked our priorities and came up with an intense 90 day action plan. Each day we left completely mentally exhausted.
Moving forward, I am so proud of all that we have accomplished this year and totally “scare-cited” as Natalie would put it for next year. We have big plans for 2014, we are turning 5.