"By learning these skills, you can become an invaluable team member to any company or client. Understanding how to create and run workshops essentially makes you a problem-solving expert. In my view, "
A new approach to business behaviour is promising to unlock the secrets of increased productivity while delivering greater prosperity and work satisfaction.
Developed by Jonathan Courtney, CEO & Founder of AJ&Smart, the fast-growing design studio that's become a favourite of Silicon Valley's elite, the method, which is designed to slice through organisational inertia, office politics and bureaucracy, is spelled out in his new publication, The Workshopper Playbook.
Courtney, who has become a guru to many corporate leading lights, developed the thinking behind the approach following years of analysing the common pitfalls of businesses pursuing a wide range of projects.
He has identified a phenomenon he terms ‘busywork’ where those involved in the delivery of a project, find progress stymied by orthodoxies and traditional methods of work. This might include pointless meetings and the seemingly endless discussions which consume so much time of the modern worker’s day.
To combat busywork and to unlock the productivity potential of teams, Courtney advocates a process of ‘Workshopping’ where a string of focused exercises are identified. The team then works through these together, either in-person or virtually, to achieve the common goal using a blueprint inspired by Design Sprint methodologies.
Coined by Jake Knapp (ex-Google Ventures) as the central theme of his New York Times Best Seller SPRINT, The Design Sprint is a process where months or even years of activity is condensed down into just five days. Among its early converts, AJ&Smart first adopted and have subsequently refined the process, developing it out with greater relevance to large organisations, and then created a framework to allow teams and individuals to create their own workshops, like The Design Sprint to solve the challenges they’re facing, detailing the changes in The Workshopper Playbook.
Described by Jake Knapp as a ‘facilitation genius who runs workshops for the world's coolest companies’, Courtney and the AJ&Smart team have already recorded huge successes having trained many thousands of people around the world for the likes of Google and Lego.
The workshop model – the aim of which is to expedite progress as a team – is centred on a model known as 4C which stand for: Collect, Choose, Create and Commit. It’s this approach which supercharges productivity creating clarity of vision across teams.
Recounting the story of how he developed the approach, Courtney said: "I realised that all my clients - actually, almost all creative professionals I came into contact with - had the same problem: they were frustrated about how much 'busywork' they had to do, and how little real progress was actually being made. They always felt busy, but rarely achieved any real progress.
“The process of workshopping allowed me to change everything and unlock the secret of increased productivity. It changed how I worked, how I collaborated, and ultimately how much I was able to create along with how I felt at work.”
Courtney believes that the workshopper approach can pay dividends for individuals in the most challenging of economic situations. He added:
"By learning these skills, you can become an invaluable team member to any company or client. Understanding how to create and run workshops essentially makes you a problem-solving expert. In my view, it is the most effective way anyone can future-proof their career and become extremely relevant in any job market."
The Workshopper Playbook is available today for free here: https://www.wsplaybook.com/free-workshopper-playbook (shipping costs not included) while stocks last.