While searching for tips on effective group facilitation last month, I came across two handy toolkits worth incorporating into your Meetup structure.
The first, Gamestorming, bills itself as “a set of co-creation tools used by innovators around the world.”
While these games are similar in nature to 18F’s Methods for HCD in that they require only basic office supplies to facilitate, they’re by and large much more engaging for those unfamiliar with HCD or agile processes, and can be chosen to fit a variety of different use-cases.
Here’s an editable, collaborative guide culled from the book into an awesome new document collaboration tool called Coda – think Google Docs with superpowers – for volunteers to use as a starting point for testing out the various games and exercises for different meetup purposes.
2. Innovation Games
Another similar helpful resource for icebreaker-type collaborative activities that produce specific outcomes is ‘Innovation Games.’
According to the author of the framework:
“Innovation Games are a set of collaborative frameworks that help teams better understand user needs and stakeholders. They are used for primary market research into unmet needs, co-creating product and service roadmaps, driving innovation and helping Scrum/Agile teams prioritize roadmaps and conduct retrospectives. Used both in-person and online, they scale from small group use to large numbers of people organized into teams of three to eight people.”
What’s particularly cool about Innovation Games is that the author also has an online platform in which you can conduct ‘forums’ to hold the innovation games remotely with other teammates. See the platform, Conteneo Weave, to get started.
Group faciliation techniques and skills are unquestionably important to any organizing effort, especially ones that have a diverse member base. Before I began leading a Brigade, i’d never really been in a facilitator role. Arming myself with some tested frameworks for facilitating better meetings, navigating conflict, and group brainstorming has helped a lot.