The vast majority of the time the people in your organisation already have the answers to the issues you face – all you have to do is extract them!
Talking to people (and listening to what they say), bouncing ideas off one another and commenting constructively on the views of others can achieve wonders. Whether you are seeking feedback on your new strategy, looking to roll out a new system or to redesign a process, participatory techniques can help.
Alternatively of course you could seek external expertise, perhaps through hiring consultants to tell you what it is that you need to do. There may be circumstances in which this approach is entirely appropriate but it may also be wise to bear in mind the following:
- Nobody knows your organisation as well as the staff who work in it
- Once the consultants have completed their work and departed, it will still be down to your staff to make their recommendations happen.
Holding participatory workshops are not the cure for everything, but get the right people in the room, give them the space to think creatively and the tools to express themselves and you might be amazed at just how much can be achieved at very little cost.