Gather Companion Material: A Sample Agenda


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Gather Companion Material: A Sample Agenda

  1. 1. [to convene] Gatherthe art & science of effective convening C R E AT E D by MONITOR INSTITUTE SAMPLE AGENDA FOR A TRAINING IN CONVENING DESIGN
  2. 2. 1 TRAINING Sample Agenda for a in Convening Design This SAMPLE AGENDA is for using GATHER: The Art & Science of Effective Convenings to train a small group in convening design. (If you are look- ing for a sample convening design, please see the final chapter of GATHER.) This agenda is designed for those who have some personal experience with convenings (at least as an attendee) and is interested in improving their capabilities at convening design. More experi- enced convening designers are not likely to need a structured training, but can benefit from working with the cards informally. It was created for a group of between 10 and 20 participants. Smaller groups can benefit from us- ing the cards more informally, without this level of structure. For larger groups, the main adjustment is to the plenary report-outs, where you should ask for a limited number of volunteers to share rather than rotating through every group. How to use this sample training agenda SAMPLE AGENDA FOR A TRAINING IN CONVENING DESIGNGATHERpage 1
  3. 3. 2 • Print a deck of GATHER Convening Challenges Cards for each participant, plus one for your- self. For a professional feel, send the file to a print shop to be printed in double-sided color and trimmed within the crop marks. Consider lamination or cardstock for stiffer cards. • Review your deck of cards to familiarize your- self with each challenge, using the sample answers as a starting-place, until you are com- fortable giving your own quick answers to each of the challenges. • One week in advance, send a copy of GATHER, a high-level agenda, and the worksheet for re- flecting on a convening. Ask participants to: — Familiarize themselves with GATHER. — Use the worksheet to describe a convening they were involved in that they found powerful. — Think of one challenge they have in designing a convening that they would like to work on. • Name tags • Small tables seating between four and eight people • Four flipchart easels and pads • One printed set of the convening purpose definitions • One printed deck of GATHER Convening Challenges cards per person • One printed copy of GATHER for every two people • Flipchart markers • Sharpie and 5x7 sticky notes • Scotch tape Preparation for the event Room setup and materials for the day SAMPLE AGENDA FOR A TRAINING IN CONVENING DESIGNGATHERpage 2 TRAINING Sample Agenda for a in Convening Design
  4. 4. 3 Sample agenda, to be customized for your context SAMPLE AGENDA FOR A TRAINING IN CONVENING DESIGNGATHERpage 3 TRAINING Sample Agenda for a in Convening Design segment length 20 minutes FACILITATION SUGGESTIONS ICEBREAKERS AND INTRODUCTIONS Ask everyone to grab a seat, and then ask them to: • Stand up if you’ve ever attended a convening. • Stay standing if you’ve ever helped organize a convening in any way. • If you’ve been the lead designer of a convening, stay standing. • If you’ve been the lead designer of a convening more than one time, stay standing. • If you’ve been the lead designer of a convening more than five times, stay standing. • Sit down. Stand if you think a well-designed convening can be a powerful way to advance an agenda and create impact. • Stay standing if you think most convenings live up to that potential. Many will probably end up sitting. Ask the group about their favorite “convening don’ts” that can take an event off course, make two col- umns on a flipchart marked “Tragedy” and “Triumph,” and capture five to 10 reactions on stickies in the column marked “Tragedy.” Follow that up by asking for people to list their favorite do’s and capturing those in the column marked “Triumph.” Introduce GATHER, explain why you felt it would be valuable to work on, and name the goals of the day. For example: 1. Deepen your understanding of the key principles of convening design 2. Explore the concepts from GATHER by working through typical “convening challenges” in a small group setting 3. Walk away with tools you can use continued
  5. 5. 4 SAMPLE AGENDA FOR A TRAINING IN CONVENING DESIGNGATHERpage 4 TRAINING Sample Agenda for a in Convening Design segment length 45 minutes FACILITATION SUGGESTIONS WHETHER AND WHY TO CONVENE Ask the group, “What are the challenges you wrestle with in working on convenings? What are the biggest questions on your mind about how to do it well?” Then capture the answers on stickies on a flipchart, loosely cluster like with like, and let participants know that they’ll have a chance to discuss them later. Move to the topic of deciding whether to hold a convening. Ask the group to flip to the “convene or not to convene” checklist in GATHER. Give the eHealth convenings from page 36 as an example, highlighting key points such as: • Rockefeller Foundation studied the field and found leading-edge practitioners and thinkers • The field was at a tipping point • Two things would help the field: greater connection among the players and greater visibility to funders. • Rockefeller Foundation decided to hold a convening designed to accomplish both of those things, taking advantage of its ability to gather people at its retreat center in Bellagio. Ask for volunteers to describe the convening they wrote about on their worksheet. Ask each person to explain: “Why did you, or who- ever designed it, decide to use a convening as opposed to addressing their challenge some other way?” Close after two to three people. Ask the group to flip to the purposes page in GATHER. Talk about how important it is to be clear on the purpose of your event, and to have one clear purpose in mind. Then ask everyone to look at their worksheets and decide what the primary purpose was for that gath- ering, and while they think, tape up each of the four convening purpose definitions to a flipchart. The participants should then tape their worksheet underneath one of the purposes. When everyone is done, discuss how the purposes were distributed. (E.g., why is it that so many of us brought an example of “develop foresight”?) Ask people to reflect on this approach versus how they would usually think about the purpose of a convening. continued
  6. 6. 5 SAMPLE AGENDA FOR A TRAINING IN CONVENING DESIGNGATHERpage 5 TRAINING Sample Agenda for a in Convening Design segment length 40 minutes 30 minutes 10 minutes FACILITATION SUGGESTIONS CONVENING CHALLENGES, ROUND 1 Tell the group that it’s now time to think on their feet and try to figure out how to address some of the most common challenges that convening designers face. While there isn’t a right answer to each challenge, GATHER does have at least a starting-place for addressing each question, which is indicated on the bottom of each card. Ask participants to split up into threes and we hand out a deck of cards to each trio. (The exercise will also work with groups of any- where from two to six.) Explain the instructions: each group will have 30 minutes in which to develop answers to as many challenges as possible. Someone in the group pulls a challenge at random, reads it as if they had just received this question by email from a friend or colleague, and the group then discusses what answer to send back. When the group has a response that its members find satisfactory, they draw another card to try. While the groups work independently, float to make sure things are going well and answer questions. After 30 minutes, call Round 1 to a close and ask for volunteers to share their reflections on the conversation. CONVENING CHALLENGES, ROUND 2 Say, “So far you’ve been answering the stock questions—now you’re in control. Pick one of the questions (or clusters of questions) that were asked at the beginning, or pick a card in the deck you haven’t answered, or come up with another challenge that’s on your mind. Take ten minutes to talk about that challenge, and then we want to hear your question and answer.” Give the groups 10-15 minutes to discuss. Return to plenary for a round-robin report out, asking a member from each group to describe the challenge they were working with and the answer that the group developed. REFLECTION AND CLOSE Ask the group: “What did you get from this conversation? What do you want to try the next time you’re asked to create a convening?”
  7. 7. Restrictions on Use of Content; Copyright: You may copy or distribute this publi- cation but only for personal, non-commercial, educational or public policy use, distributed free of charge, provided that you include the following copyright notice on all copies: “Copyright © 2013 Deloitte Development LLC. This publication may not be modified or altered in any way.” As used in this document, “Monitor Deloitte” means the Strategy practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of Deloitte practitioners. Deloitte is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, financial, investment, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. Deloitte, its affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this publication. Copyright © 2013 Deloitte Development LLC