Fortune 100 Uses GoWall to Gather Diverse Insights and Solve Complex Revenue Problems
A Fortune 100 company had a critical imperative: Hit an ambitious revenue target to assure growth in the new fiscal year. But challenges mounted, and by the middle of the first quarter, the company had only realized 10 percent of the goal.
Key stakeholders were given a nearly impossible directive: Meet for two days, discuss the highly complex issues involved, and deliver a plan to meet the revenue goals. Thirty-one team members from Marketing, Sales, Hardware, Engineering, Software and Operations traveled from around the world for a two-day workshop to collaborate on the next step. Everyone’s voice and expertise would matter as they faced a serious situation considering the following:
- The team was widely cross-functional and not completely aligned.
- Many of the team members had never met; some were even new to the company.
- Seven diverse and complex initiatives were on the table, but team members didn’t have an adequate understanding of the initiatives outside their own disciplines.
To maximize the quality and diversity of the information exchange, facilitators needed 100 percent participation–a goal that is rarely achieved in sessions of this size and especially with a tightly budgeted timeframe.
Solution – Enter GoWall
Facilitators leveraged GoWall to drive engagement during the workshop and increase the diversity and quality of the insights they received.
Day 1: Initiative Review
How do you facilitate understanding and alignment across seven diverse, complex initiatives in a 6-hour period? Each of the seven initiative owners presented a 45-minute overview followed by the use of Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats method in 5-minute segments. This encouraged parallel thinking and drove participants to analyze each initiative and align around meaning and potential impact.
The team was highly engaged and contributed as many as 50 notes during each of the seven Six Thinking Hats segments. By the end of the session, facilitators had collected 141 insights that were specific to each initiative using GoWall’s Notes and Fields functionality. This level of targeted participation and the sheer number of quality inputs would not have been possible without GoWall.
Day 2: Plan Development
With the team now aligned and familiar with each initiative, facilitators launched into Day 2.
GoWall Session on Key Growth Strategies
The session started with a review of four key strategies that comprised the backbone of a revised revenue growth plan. Facilitators surveyed the entire population of 31 team members in a 30-minute period, asking everyone to provide their insights in GoWall to address each of the four strategies, even if it wasn’t one they would be responsible for. The goal was to gather insights from everyone about every aspect of all the strategies. Facilitators structured the GoWall session using these themes: Goals, Measures of Success, Issues and Challenges, Solutions, and Other Considerations. They generated 639 insights in GoWall in 30 minutes, with 100 percent participation.
Breakout Session Using GoWall Post-It Notes
At the end of the insight session, the 31 attendees were distributed into four breakout groups. Each group was given one of the four strategies to discuss and plan. Facilitators used the GoWall Printing App to print all 639 insights on GoWall Post-It Notes, grouped the insights by strategy, and sent the attendees into their breakouts with a rich set of insights generated by the entire group.
People felt included and heard, and their insights were being used across all the breakout groups, even the ones they weren’t a part of. The entire group’s collective intelligence informed the plans the breakout groups ultimately created. And the diversity of the insights played a key role in expediting each group’s plan delivery.
The active and engaged team worked through each strategy, and finished the session with a draft plan of how to return to growth. The diversity, quality and specificity of the insights would not have been possible without GoWall’s structured crowdsourcing and real-time collaboration capabilities. It enabled substantial productivity gains by eliciting an incredible volume of inputs during a tightly fixed timeframe. And it increased the quality of the final workshop product—the team left the two-day session with a concrete plan for how to move forward.
Best Practice: Use GoWall to make breakout sessions more effective
Facilitators commonly divide larger groups into breakout sessions so that smaller, more manageable teams of 5-10 attendees can address specific challenges and make recommendations. Leads from each breakout group then present their conclusions to the larger group for comment and revision. Turn the paradigm on its head with this Best Practice:
Step 1: Survey the larger group first on each challenge and print all insights using GoWall’s note printing feature.
Step 2: Break out into smaller groups, using printed notes to help problem solve.
Step 3: Watch and listen as the breakout groups take their conversation to new levels when they start with collective intelligence from the larger group, rather than starting from scratch.