Tuesday, 27 April 2010

World Cafe

Yesterday we had the second of our departmental World Cafe events. As usual it was well attended - we had 60 places available for each sessions and both were full. The sessions have a number of aims - one is to bring people from different parts of the department together. We are 200 staff in 11 different locations, with a wide variety of functions and the feedback we've had from previous events is that people like to talk to and share opinions with people they don't normally work with. So - we mix people up on the tables to start with by giving them a sweet as they go in, and they have to sit with people who have the same type of sweet!

We used the sessions to look at a number of key challenges facing us, and looking for suggestions and ideas - lots of blue sky thinking - and only the tablecloths to write on. Each table discussed a different challenge, and everyone got the chance to sit at each table - we looked at reducing our carbon footprint, reducing complexity, doing things differently, diversifying our income and reducing space. I've had a quick look at the tablecloths - and there's lots of great ideas (as well as some more dubious ones, but that's part of the fun) - some very illegible writing in places, so I pity the people typing them up!

Finally we looked at some more specific things we could do - using the Stop, Start, Continue process we've used before. All will feed into our planning process, and we'll be reporting back to the department on the outcomes later in May.

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