A Workshop of Our Own
About four years ago was the last time we at coeno were thinking about our vision. At that time, this was still a purely management issue: a topic that Markus and I had thought about and then communicated the results internally to our employees.
A lot has happened since then. Not only has our management style changed. We also tackle strategic issues, such as developing a vision, in a new way.
Today, it is important to us that we do not choose top-down development, but work in a team where the results are communicated externally.
And because in our daily work, both internally and with customers, we work through complex topics in workshops, Anja put together a workshop to help us develop our vision together.
Day 1 of our Vision Development
We started by looking at the theory: What is a vision? What can it do? Whom does it help? And why is it important?
We rounded off the introduction with a summary of the strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities and risks based on the market and competitive situation and our self and external image, which we have identified in a customer survey.
To loosen up all workshop participants a little bit, we organized a small quiz first. We wanted to know: which vision belongs to which company:
“Create a better everyday life for many people.”
“Imagine a world in which every single person has a free share in the totality of knowledge.”
“To enable simple people to buy the same things as wealthy people.”
“Our goal is to organize the information of the world and make it accessible and usable for everyone at any time.”
Would you have known? (The results can be found at the end of this article).
The sentences describe the uniqueness and identity of the respective company. And for us, images immediately came to mind.
Take Away Fear: With a Snowball Fight in the Creative Session
Whoever wants to develop a vision is sometimes afraid of what is required of them. That is why we wrote all of our greatest fears about the workshop on a sheet of paper. We then crumpled the sheet into a “snowball” and threw them into the room with eyes closed. Next, everyone chose a snowball and read the text aloud. In doing so, we realized that we all had very similar fears and no one was alone in their fears.
After the introduction and the warm-up session, we were all ready and very motivated to formulate the identity and uniqueness for us.
The Vision Development – An Act in 5 Steps
Step 1: The Creative Phase
With so-called “vision boarding”, a method with which you capture visions, wishes, intentions and goals on pictures in a collage, each individual – armed with magazines, newspapers, catalogs, pens, scissors and glue – dealt with the question: “What does the work at coeno constitute for you?” and “What will this work ideally look like in five years?”
The creative battlefield
All collages at a glance
Step 2: Gallery Phase
In this phase, everybody looked at the resulting visions in silence and internalized the ideas of the others – all quietly, no statements, no discussions!
This was not a very easy task for us many-commenters and chatterboxes :-).
Afterwards, each of us chose a collage that spoke to them. Just not your own.
Step 3: Interpreting
Then it went to the interpretation. On blue cards, each person defined the content and effect of the chosen collage in their own words.
Step 4: Evaluation Phase
For evaluation, all blue cards were divided into small groups. For each group, the cards were discussed, sorted and grouped on one to three yellow cards. The task: On the yellow cards, whole sentences or half sentences should be noted, which expressed as clearly as possible the statements on the blue cards.
This ended the first day of the workshop.
We were all satisfied with the achievements, but we continued to discuss the different collages and their meanings for a long time.
Day 2 of our Vision Development
Step 5: Conclusion Phase
The day started with the presentation of the yellow cards with the combined interpretations. Each sentence was individually presented and discussed.
It was important for us to have a common understanding of each statement and its relevance. We were very involved in the discussion and the sentences were reformulated until we reached a consensus.
Subsequently, we sorted the statements according to similarities and searched for a topic for each cluster. The clusters were then evaluated. Everyone could place five sticky dots (a method for idea evaluation from Dot-Mocracy) on what they saw as the most important clusters.
These statements got most of the points:
- With creative passion and quality
- For people (in the sense of: for users, for the customer, for us)
- With fun
On the basis of this result, we went to the next round where we pondered in a small group what the wording for our vision statement should be. This was coordinated and optimized until we reached exactly the formulation behind which we all stand.
With creative passion, we design as a team digital solutions that inspire people.
This sentence expresses our goal that we strive for on every project, that drives our actions, that motivates us and with which each of us identifies.
For me, the two workshop days were very beneficial. They have once again contributed to our internal trust and team building. It has been a lot of fun to take two days and to deal intensively with the topic of a “coeno vision”. Once again, I saw what a great team we are – with completely different personalities, but with the common willpower to achieve something.
I am very proud of you all. And my special thanks to Anja, who prepared and moderated the workshop, and, at the same time, participated.
„Create a better everyday life for many people.“ – Ikea
„Imagine a world in which every single human being has a free share of the totality of knowledge.” – Wikipedia
„To enable simple people to buy the same things as wealthy people.” – Walmart
„Our goal is to organize the information of the world and make it accessible and usable for everyone at any time.” – Google