Stimmt AG Workshop Toolkit

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With the Stimmt Workshop Toolkit you receive knowledge for excellent Workshops, inspired from 1500 given workshops and 15 years consultancy experience. Improve you technics, methods and time management.

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Stimmt AG Workshop Toolkit

  1. 1. Construction Plan & Tools for World Class Workshops Build-A- Workshop developed by
  2. 2. 2 www.stimmt.ch 15 years of Stimmt, 1500 workshops: Our knowledge as a gift to you Stimmt expert tips: Follow this advice for successful workshops Warning: Watch out for stumb- ling blocks! Methods: We let you borrow from our toolbox! We look back to 15 years of Stimmt! Today we help organizations to differentiate themselves through positive customer experience. It all began 1998 when we did usability projects for websites. The following never changed: Customer focus: Your customers at the center of attention We base our recommendations on the insights gained on your custo- mers and other stakeholders in order to satisfy everyone‘s goals and needs. Interactivity: «Stimmt works with you, others for you», a client We very strongly involve you in our project work to ensure the results take hold in your organization. Workshops: One of our most important tools Workshops are effective and lead to widely accepted solutions. In over 1500 workshops we were able to see this happen. At the end of this toolkit we show you some examples of where our workshops had impact. With this workshop toolkit we share our knowledge and expertise from 15 years of consulting experience to help you lead great workshops when we aren‘t around. If you are stuck or need to tackle more com- plex problems, our customer experience experts (contact information on the back) love to help you out. Enjoy exploring our toolkit! We wish you a successful application and many effective workshops! Stimmt AG Stimmt AG | Customer experience consultants | Zürich | www.stimmt.ch | info@stimmt.ch
  3. 3. Illustrations by Roland Siegenthaler | echtpraktisch.ch The workshop Execution Welcome Warm-up Problem orientation Problem solving Wrap-up Troubleshooting Follow-up Working visually Preparation The facilitator A D G E F C B Building blocks 1 2 3 4 5 Get to know each other. Introduce participants to the workshop agenda and goals. What is a workshop and when is it appropriate to hold one? What do you have to consider when facilitating a workshop? What do you need to do before the workshop? What can you do if something goes wrong? The workshop is over. What now? How to document con- tent or results visually? Gather participants’ expectations and create workshop mood. Explain the challenge and foster equal understan- ding among participants. Let participants jointly explore the challenge, present and evaluate solutions. As a group, decide upon the next steps and assign further tasks. Ask for participant feedback.
  4. 4. 7 www.stimmt.ch 6 www.stimmt.ch The workshop In a workshop a group of people work on a specific topic. This means there is active participation, interaction and hands on exercises involved. A facilitator guides participants towards the goal, which often is about problem-solving or idea gene- ration. A great workshop has a clear goal that is achieved in a specific amount of time, is well structured and has a creative atmosphere in which people are constructive and supported. But keep in mind that a workshop is not always the right approach to solve problems. Consider if you can answer the following questions with „yes“: On the following pages we tell you how to plan and hold a great workshop. Do you have a challenge that can be worked on and can your participants actually contribute something? (If not, you should rather hold a meeting to discuss your challenge or a presentation to inform the audience about it.) Is a group setting the right environment in which to solve your problem? (Or should you rather discuss the issue one on one?) A workshop or not? You want the participants to feel that your workshop is worth their time. 0ne easy way to do this is to documenting all the results being achieved throughout the course of the workshop on flipcharts and hang them up so everyone can see them. A B The facilitator In order to run a great workshop, good planning and a skilled facilitator are vital. As a facilitator, quality and success of a workshop depend on you. Structure: You choose methods, structure the workshop, keep track of time and ensure that the overall goals are reached. Group dynamics: You create a productive atmosphere, solve conflicts and use each participants’ unique potential to create a synergistic working environment. Flexibility: Structure your workshop well, but be open to react to the participants spontaneous needs and make changes if necessary. Neutrality: Your job is to nudge people to come up with their own input or ideas. Don’t participate, judge or try to „help“ participants come to any specific conclusions. Con- tributing your ideas may undermine your authority as a facilitator because participants are suddenly allowed to criticize your input as a participant, leaving you vulnerable to them later on criticizing you as a facilitator. Your responsibilities Your qualities If you can’t avoid giving content-related input, do so explicitly, by saying you are now changing your role for a moment or by chan- ging your position in the room. You can also bring ano- ther person with you: 0ne of you gives content input and the other one facilitates. If there are several groups going on at once, you should bring a dif- ferent facilitator for each. This ensures that participants are taken care of at all times and that you don‘t have to interrupt the flow of individual sessions.
  5. 5. 8 9 www.stimmt.chwww.stimmt.ch Preparation Preparation usually takes more time than you think. Plan well ahead – calculate at least one day to prepa- re a one day workshop. In the preparation phase you plan your workshop, prepare materials, invite participants and organize everything. Start by asking yourself what you want to achieve with this workshop. Only if you have a clear goal in mind can you go about figuring out what is necessary. Some examples: Know your participants! What are their individual goals? What is their state of knowledge? What are their respecti- ve experiences with workshops? Who is supportive of your „cause“ and who is sceptical? In a workshop with senior level management, you will want to come to quick decisions, while with project members there might be more discussions. When you inform participants about the workshop, those are the things you should consider: Expectations: Let participants know the purpose and goal of the workshop and what is expected of them. Send out the workshop agenda. Key players: Tell key participants that their presence is important to the success of the workshop and explain why this is the case. Homework: If you want participants to read material in ad- vance or prepare something, let them know early enough and formulate tasks clearly to avoid misunderstandings. Define the goal Participants Invitation Develop three scenarios for the future of e-banking. Evolve the different business model options for my star- tup and decide which one to pursue. Get participants to understand and apply the key concepts of social media communication. If you don’t know the at- tending parti- cipants, ask at the be- ginning of the workshop about their expecta- tions, background and experience level. This will help you better organi- ze the group. To ensure participants do their pre- workshop homework, put their names on the agenda and send it to them – even if the tasks are only small, this helps to get com- mitment. In this case it is a good idea to even indicate the speci- fic time they will be presenting respective material. Use Blu-Tak to hang up flip- charts on walls and to easily remove them again. Blu-Tak is better than tape and better than competi- tors. So stock up! Test all tech- nical equipment before the workshop starts! Book a room for at least double the num- ber of participants you actually have to make sure you have enough space. And if necessa- ry, make use of outside areas such as gardens, hallways, foyers, cafe- terias etc. Know your location! You don’t want a room that is too dark, small, hot or cold. Visit it before the workshop or make inqui- ries. On the day of the workshop arrive at least 30 minutes before the workshop to prepare yourself, hang up material, set up the room and get ready. Preparing the right materials is key to a successful work- shop. Inquire which equipment is available at your loca- tion. Consider organizing: Think about what will happen after the workshop. In which format will you need to document the workshop and its re- sults? (Written protocol? Photo? Video?) Will someone help you document during the workshop? Location Material and equipment Documentation Room organization: Is it suitable for your purpose and for your group size? How far in advance can you arrive to prepare the room? Will participants be able to find it? Can they easily enter the building or room or is there a security system in place? Room setup: Do you need tables for group work? Do you need space for participants to move around in the room? Information materials: Print out any materials well in ad- vance. Bring spare copies. Workshop materials: Will you need flip charts? Paper? Post-it notes in different colours? Felt markers? Dot stickers? Blu-Tak? Scissors? Technical equipment: Will you need cameras? Recorders? Loudspeakers? Projector? Power cables? Adapters? Remo- te control? Remember to test all technical equipment in advance! Bring spare batteries. Drinks & snacks: If your workshop lasts several hours, you should offer basic catering like water, coffee and snacks. To save time in the workshop, prepare little workshop kits for each participant, with for example their informa- tion materials, a bunch of Post-it notes, a pen and the exact amount of dot stickers they will need. C
  6. 6. 10 www.stimmt.ch The agenda is an important instrument to keep your work- shop structured and your participants informed. Put your agenda on a flipchart that is always visible du- ring the workshop and use Post-its for the times and the content! This allows you to stay flexible and make changes if necessary. To prepare your workshop’s agenda it helps to consider the following time management tips: Agenda Time management If you have to adjust your agenda, commu- nicate changes clearly, give your reasons for them and get the ag- reement of the parti- cipants! Create two agendas: Make your own like a script with exact timing, instructions and optional content. Make the one for partici- pants a broad outline, just specific enough to make them feel com- fortable. This allows you to be flexible without having to justify every change you make. Plan time generously and flexibly. Think about which optional topics you could add or leave out depen- ding on the time available. Don’t guess, calculate! If 10 participants have 5 minu- tes each to present their ideas, it will take 50 minutes pure presentation time. To this you should add another 20 minutes for the introduction and the changeover between presenters. Don‘t forget the breaks. If participants know there are breaks, they will concentrate more on the workshop and postpone reading e-mails or making phone calls. Sche- dule 5-10 minutes every 1.5 hours. Don’t be surprised that it takes an additional 5-10 minutes until everyone is back and ready to continue. To save time you can split participants up to work simultaneously in different groups (remember to plan a time slot where the results can be shared). Or you can let participants prepare something in advance. Bring a watch to keep track of time. You may also pro- ject the time on the wall so everyone can see it and there are no surprises. Even if you are an experienced facilitator, always ask someone for feedback on your agenda! Test all the technical equipment in advance and practice for example how you explain a task or a method. An agenda at Stimmt usually looks something like this: Your workshop‘s goal Blu-Tack The flip‘s title Yellow Post-its for agenda items Green Post-its for milestones or breaks Blue Post-its for time Title of the workshop Date of the workshop
  7. 7. 12 www.stimmt.ch Execution Introduce yourself and explain your role. Do the same for any other important or special participants. Then let participants get to know each other. If you want to be a bit more creative than just letting them tell their name and professional information, consider an introduction exercise such as Introduction bingo, Character map or Chartoon character. Those are all great ice brea- kers. Tell participants the context of the workshop, who ini- tiated it, why they are here, what you want to achieve together and how you will go about it. Ask them if they agree with your agenda or if they would like to change anything. To avoid straying from your goal, think about how you want to deal with distracting topics. One possibility is to introduce a Parking space for open issues. If you want to introduce some rules (for example: don’t judge other peoples ideas, don’t use jargon, don’t use laptops or smartphones during the workshop), do so sparingly or you will appear patronizing. Think about who makes sure the rules are followed and what hap- pens if someone breaks a rule. Introduction Goal & agenda Rules Be there early to greet par- ticipants when they arrive. Try to mingle with them - this helps everyone to get to know you and feel comfortable. And it gives you the chance to feel the mood of your participants. The worst thing for workshop participants is to feel disoriented. They will doubt the purpose of the workshop and lose motivation. So put the goal and the agen- da up in the room and make sure it is always visible (don’t just put it on the projector once). Refer back to the agenda, if you move to the next item. Character map Let participants position themselves according to cer- tain criteria. Ask them to build groups (people with the same hair colour, people who like red/green/yellow app- les, people with 0/1/2/3/... children, people with/without pet animals,...) or to form a line (alphabetically, body size, age,...). “Play” for 5-10 minutes. Parking space for open issues Prepare a flipchart to record any topics that go beyond the scope of this workshop. In this way, you are able to continue with the work- shop and at the same time no partici- pant feels overlooked. Introduction bingo Prepare a Bingo form with 8-12 questions that begin with “Find someone who...” (for examp- le: ...has the same pet as you, ...speaks a language you don’t speak, ...drives a Toyota) Hand out the form to par- ticipants, ask them to mingle and find the people who fit the questions. The participant who answeres all the ques- tions first “wins” and the game ends. Cartoon character This is a more classical intro- duction method: Instead of just giving their name and background - participants should choose one car- toon character and explain what they have in common with it (“I am a Jerry of Tom&Jerry because I’m small, but also very sweet and smart.”). This also works with childhood heroes, fairytale characters or super powers. D Welcome 1
  8. 8. 14 www.stimmt.ch Warm-up Warm-up Before you start, it is important to get participants expec- tations in line with the workshop goals. Tell them what you expect of them, but also collect their expectations for this workshop in a Go-around. If you have pulled the participants right out of their daily routine they will need a little shake-up before they are able to work productively. You can consider a physi- cal warm-up exercise or a mental one such as Warm-up brainstorming or 0bject purpose brainstorming. Expectations The right mood Long presen- tations are tiring and don’t contribute to a pro- ductive and collabora- tive atmosphere. Keep any inputs as short as possible – you don’t want participants to fall asleep. If it hap- pens anyway, use another warm-up exercise to wake them up. Even if the warm-up exer- cise seems silly and unnecessary to you - if you expect creati- vity to „happen“ in the workshop you shouldn‘t skip the warm-up. It is vital. It may be necessary to present a topic or to collect input from participants in order to make everyone understand the problem that needs to be solved in the workshop. It is helpful to visualize all input information on a flip. Projectors are evil (not always, but for a workshop this is usually true). If you evolve your key point on a flipchart instead, you will engage the audience more. Compared to projected slides the flipchart will stay and your audience won’t lose the context. You will look competent. Input presentations Projector vs. flip 0bject purpose brainstorming Gather in front of a flip- chart and pass around a simple object such as a credit card, coat hanger or cup. Ask participants to menti- on things that can be done with this object and write down the answers. After the obvious purpose (credit card is used to pay) participants need to become really creative (cut car- rots, clean fingernails...). Continue for 5 minutes or until you have found 30 different purposes. Go-around Ask each participant in turn to explain his or her expecta- tions in one sentence. This way you can react if they don’t match your own. As a side effect, with this method eve- ryone gets the chance to speak (but don’t force anyone). Warm-up brainstorming All you need for this little exercise is a flipchart, a pen and an engaging question for partici- pants to brainstorm on, such as: What can we do to get every Monday morning off? How can we achieve a Cabriolet experi- ence in a closed car? How can we achieve a Harley Davidson feeling on a chair? Let participants shout out their answers and write them down on the flip. Go on for 5 minutes. 2 Problem orientation 3
  9. 9. 16 www.stimmt.ch Your job as a facilitator is to ask the right questions to gui- de participants towards the solution. There are a couple of ways to facilitate a discussion: If you want the participants to quickly contribute their ideas or input, Brainstorming may be the right method. Remember: Brainstorming aims for quantity, not quality. If participants have come up with many different ideas or solutions, you will need to prioritize. One very simple way to do this is with a Dot sticker evaluation. These also work in discussions to reach consensus. Have a look at the “Trouble- shooting” sec- tion to find out what you can do if a discussion runs out of control. It can be hard to work on a problem in a group of ten or more people. To be effective, split participants up into groups of three to four people and follow this advice: Discussions Creative work Group work Be flexible with your timing now – if creative ideas are flowing, don’t insist on taking a break just because the agenda says so. To stimulate a discussion, you can ask for: Experiences, opinions, fears, hopes, wishes, goals, advantages, dis- advantages, problems, differences, commonali- ties, solutions, measures, alternatives. Ask open questions in the beginning („What do you think?“) and closed questions towards the end („So, do we go with idea one or two?“). Summarize and paraphrase complicated inputs. Relate the inputs of different participants with each other or with the wider context of the discussion. Visualize inputs on Post-its. Give participants clear instructions and a time frame. Let them know how they are expected to document or present their results later. Consider giving them a temp- late for the result, such as the Idea poster. Visit each group while they are working and support them if necessary. Let them know when they have five minutes left and again when they have one minute left. Brainstorming Formulate a very clear, simple question and ask all partici- pants to share their ideas. You (or an assigned recorder) write every state- ment on a Post-it and put it up on a flip. Don’t allow discussions and judge- ment of ideas. Let participants build on the ideas of others. Dot sticker evaluation Give 3-5 dot stickers to each participant and ask them to stick them on the ideas they like most. You can also let them rate along a certain evaluation criteria or you can use green and red dots to mark “top” and “flop” ideas. If you don’t want par- ticipants to influence each other, make the rating anonymous: Number the options and have people put the chosen number on the dot before sticking them on the option. Idea poster Equip groups with a flip- chart, Post-it notes and pens. Prepare a sample poster with the structure you want participants to use for idea presentation. This ensures every group answers the same questi- ons. Furthermore, if the form is given, the groups will really concentrate on the content. The poster could contain the following elements: A catchy title, a visualization of the idea, benefits and risks of the idea, suggestions for imple- mentation or next steps,... Problem solving 4
  10. 10. 19 www.stimmt.ch 18 www.stimmt.ch Your participants have worked on a topic for some time now. They will be interested to know what you are going to do with the results and what the next steps will be. You might want to receive feedback on two levels in order to learn for future workshops. Thank the participants for their contribution and say goodbye. If you would like to capture the mood and satis- faction of the participants, consider letting them fill out a quick Mood barometer on their way out. You could also ask them to leave their e-mail address for follow-ups etc. at the exit. I like, I wish Ask partici- pants to write down their feedback statements on Post-its in the form of “I like…” and “I wish…”. This ensu- res that participants think constructively about what they would have wished for instead of what they didn’t like. Alternatively you could also use „more of...“ and „less of...“ Tasks & next steps Feedback Good bye Mood barometer Prepare a flip with a question or statement („This workshop was a worth my time.*) and a scale. Distribute dot stickers and let participants rate. Assign tasks: Who will do what until when? 0pen issues: Check the „parking space“ and decide what happens to the open issues. Do you need to schedule another workshop? Can you prioritize the issues? Results: Clarify how to handle the workshop results: Who will receive the protocol? Until when? Are the results con- fidential? Content: Are participants happy with what they achie- ved? Did the workshop meet their expectations? Why or why not? Workshop facilitation: How did participants feel during the workshop? Did they understand the methods? What did they like best? What least? Why? Don’t postpone the allocation of tasks! If you want participants’ commitment, you should assign tasks in the workshop and make sure they agree to it. Follow-up The workshop is over, but your work is not quite done yet. There are a couple of things you need to do now. Reserve some time for this and don‘t forget it. Make photos of any flipcharts you produced during the workshop. A smartphone camera is all you need. Name the files so people know what’s on them. Think about the kind of documentation your recipients will need: Don’t wait too long with any follow-up you promised the parti- cipants. Send out the protocol quickly and don’t forget to track the progress on any agreed-upon follow-up tasks. Write down your learnings for future workshops – even if the workshop went well you should reflect upon your skills as a facilitator. It always helps to review the workshops with a co-facilitator or participant to see, through someone else‘s experience, what went well and what still needs to be tweaked on the next go around. Documentation Debriefing If they just want to be informed, sharing the flipchart photos is enough. If they need to make a presentation, you might want to digitalize the workshop results in another format like Excel, Word or PowerPoint etc. Ask early on if there is a desired template you should be using for docu- mentation. E Wrap-up 5
  11. 11. 20 www.stimmt.ch Preserving what is said and developed during the workshop is a crucial task of the facilitator. Flip chart, Post-it notes and a felt marker help you do this. Working visually Visualizing is great for different reasons. It makes sure eve- ryone talks about the same thing and you can refer to things during the workshop. Additionally, all results being visible helps participants to see how much they have already achieved. You can prepare these flips in advance: Post-it notes are a facilitator’s best friend. They allow you to be flexible in the workshop, to cluster statements or ideas, and to add, change or structure participant’s inputs. For all those reasons, we at Stimmt use Post-its extensively. As the workshop goes on, you should document these things with Post-its and flipchart: The advantages Things to visualize Post-it notes Post-its are great. They are even greater if you use them right. First: Use light colours - your writing on the dark ones isn‘t as legible. Second: Use large enough felt tip pens. Third: Make sure Post-its don’t overlap - this is important if you make a photo protocol. At Stimmt we have deve- loped a colour code for our Post- its. This makes it very easy to create a visual structure on our flips - which you can still un- derstand if you look at them months later. Categories or titles Content 0pportunities, positive input Concerns, open questions Workshop goal(s) Workshop agenda Assignments for participants Rules / expectations Important statements of participants Any results that are produced in the workshop Any decisions that are made Open issues A picture says more than thousand words - this also applies in workshops. Why use a lot of text to describe something you could say with a simple dra- wing? Ideas or complex concepts can often be understood more easily if they are visualized. The following building blocks will get you started: Break Documents Process Goal Shop Phone Idea Company Computer Boom! Talking Running Thinking My iPhone! Look! Question Finance Internet Tablet & Smartphone Rule Trends F
  12. 12. 23 Troubleshooting To avoid it: Make a test run. Think about what could go wrong before the workshop and of possible ways out. Have a „plan B.“ To solve it: Take a break to gain clarity. Consult the group with a “Go-around” and ask them what they think of the situation and how they would like to go on. Or think of an analogous situation and ask people how they would solve it. To avoid it: Keep track of time, plan generously, decide which agenda items are optional. Ask more experienced workshop pl- anners to give feedback on your agenda. To solve it: Make a break to restructure the workshop. Propose the new structure and get the participants‘ consent – they need to know what can realistically be done in the time that is left. To avoid it: Test equipment in advance. Inquire about who you can contact in an emergency. Have at least one print out ready so you can start drawing on a whiteboard. To solve it: Make a break and fix the problem. Don’t be asha- med to ask for help. To avoid it: Don’t use methods that you suspect might not be well-received by the participants (for example because they are too fancy, too rigid,...). To solve it: Never discuss methods – those are your responsibility. Participants have to accept this. To avoid it: Mingle with participants before the workshop and try to capture their mood. Set clear expectations about the kind of atmosphere you wish to have. To solve it: Allow the participant to share his experience and demonstrate his competence. Ask him to find the positive aspects or constructive alternatives. Never react to personal attacks in the group. Make a break and address the participant alone to figure out what you can do to solve the situation. „It seems to me that you don‘t like the workshop. What can I do to change that?“ To avoid it: Get to know people in advance. For group works assign a skilled facilitator to the group with the alpha leader. To solve it: Split the participants up into small groups or use methods such as “Go-around” or a silent “Brainstorming” to ensure everyone in the group gets a turn to participate. Give the alpha leader a task that meets his alpha demands. To avoid it: Call participants in advance to remind them of the homework. Ask them to deliver the homework some time before the workshop. This gives you time to react. If they have to present something in the workshop: put their names on the agenda. To solve it: Make time to do the task now – and communicate the consequences it has for the workshop schedule. To avoid it: Set clear expectations about distracting devices or side chats. Schedule and communicate enough breaks during which participants can check mails. Avoid long presentations. To solve it: Ask side-chatters to share the interesting issues they are surely talking about with the group. For other distractions, voice your irritation: „I notice that you aren‘t paying attention right now – what can I do to make it interesting for you?“ Consider if it’s maybe just time for a break or a little warm-up exercise. To avoid it: Use a silent method such as writing down ideas or thoughts on Post-it notes and collecting them without discussion. To solve it: Stop discussions that lead nowhere and put the issue on the parking space. If participants talk too much, ask them to summarize their point or to write it down on a Post-it. If this doesn’t help, make a break and ask the babbling person to hang back a bit. To avoid it: Make a little “braindump” at the beginning where you write the ideas participants already have on a flip. This way they know their ideas are valued and they can fully engage in the workshop with a clear mind. To solve it: Stop the idea generation to make a “braindump” right away. Help! I‘m stuck! I have no idea how to go on! 0h - typical case of alpha leader... What? They didn‘t do their homework! Argh! How can I make them pay attention? Blah, blah - this discussion doesn‘t go anywhere They just stick with their old ideas! 0h no! Time is running out! What now? Crap - the projector is not working! Huh? Partici- pants don‘t like my methods. Puh, this par- ticipant is so destructive! 22 G www.stimmt.chwww.stimmt.ch
  13. 13. How Stimmt workshops had an effect... Strategy Concepts Transformation Customer experience bootcamp Enthused 21 senior managers in London with custo- mer experience. Persona workshop Developed 4 solid personas in a small team at 30 degrees Celsius. Customer journey innovation Revolutionized a process during 3 days in the Bernese Alps. Workshop customer focus Conveyed the concept of human centered design to 100 people in 3 hours. Future of e-banking 12 people filled the innovation pipeline with 165 ideas in 3 days. New counselling process Developed a completely new and simplified counselling process in 1 day. Customer centric strategy Worked out a new strategy with the management in 8 workshops. Branch of the future 15 people created a vision for the bank branch of the future in 2 days. Estimated amount of workshops since 1998: 1500 Strategy Concepts Transformation Since 1998, we support our clients to differentiate themselves through positive customer experience. We develop strategies, build concepts for interactions and help transforming organizations. developed a shared vision, found the best strategic option created innovative processes, products oder services committed organization to customer focus, integrated customer focus in value chain Stimmt AG | Customer experience consultants | Zürich | www.stimmt.ch | info@stimmt.ch
  14. 14. Stimmt AG | Customer experience consultants | Zürich | www.stimmt.ch | info@stimmt.ch

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