The consultancy Q5 were working with EDF Energy to plan and deliver how a diverse group of departments would work together on the next year’s aims and objectives: Priorities. TheWholeStory were asked to facilitate some practical activities as part of their Away Day to ensure the next year’s Priorities would be understood fully – in terms of their need or rationale and in how they could be applied
Before looking forwards, participants to the Away Day were asked to write a short story to celebrate and reflect on their achievements from the previous year, a time of considerable change for the business. The contributed stories, which gave personal perspectives on organisational successes and individual achievements, were available to read throughout the Away Day on a Story Wall. Before the participants looked at specific action plans within their functions Directors, in 5 mixed groups, were taken through a process to build a future-story about 1 Priority and how it would affect or involve 1 protagonist over a year.
By acknowledging the achievements made already in the past year the Story Wall succeeded in creating a mood of celebration and shared enthusiasm to achieve more and identified specific behaviour, ideas and actions that could be emphasized and continued into the year ahead. The future-story creation allowed the groups to collaboratively explore what could happen, how, why and to whom, and see within the focusing and engaging elements of a story, the Priorities in specific, achievable and tangible terms. Groups looked at a Priority that they might not have previously considered pertinent to them and yet were able to provide and learn useful insights. The lessons of the story, and the perspective the exercise gave, fed directly into the team’s action plans and the ways in which they would communicate and implement the Priorities.