How do I define them, and what questions do I ask myself before each event?
1. How far from today is the goal for which the session is started? It's one thing when you need to find a solution "here and now", but a completely different approach will be when it comes to a horizon of 3-5-10 years ahead.
2. How many "steps" do I need to go to reach my goal? Goal decomposition is an essential element of preparation.
3. Is it possible to go through all the steps in one session? The human factor must be taken into account – people lose efficiency after a few hours of thinking, so switching activities is required, but even after repeated switching there comes a point when further work is more harmful than useful. An eco-friendly group session hardly lasts more than 4 productive hours. It is worth adding coffee breaks, lunch and you get at least 6 hours of intense process. The duration of an effective individual session can vary from 40 minutes to 2 hours – it all depends on the experience gained by the Customer.
4. How long until the date of the session? The approach to the “tomorrow” session and the “two weeks from now” session will be different. In both cases, you can get strong results, but the tools and mechanics will be exactly different.
5. What will I consider a good result of this session? The goal is often much more ambitious than the expectations of the next step. This is natural, but it is worth clarifying. In this case, you can achieve both 120% of the goal and 80%, and if you do not clarify the expectations from the results, then you can not get even 10%.
6. And if I had more time (before the session, before achieving the goal), how would my idea of a good result change? This question allows me to clarify the truth of my goal and the timeliness of the session.
7. Who will participate in the session? It is one thing when it is necessary to establish work within one department, and another when it comes to shaping approaches to customer service.
8. How appropriate is the participation of the director in the upcoming event? This question follows from the previous one. You can hypothesize what will be different in the case of the presence/absence of a director. The approach to the session will be exactly different.
9. What resources do I need to run a session?
And after answering these and similar questions, you can already select tools, methods and performers!