Setting a historical context for any creative problem-solving workshop allows a group to share their experiences and points of view before a session begins. It helps bring the group together around the point of the day and set an expectation for where the group believes energy should be put moving forward.
Understanding our past accomplishments tell us we can have a great future. A diverse group mailing an opening exercise and realizing some information they didn’t know before helps set an intention for the rest of the day.
- Write 2002, 2003, 2004 and so on til 2012 on individual large post-it notes. Post them in a horizontal line across the top of a whiteboard or wall.
- Have the group individually fill out milestones of significant events from their perspective as an organization, from the regional/local perspective, and internationally.
- Have the team members post their milestones along the timeline.
- Pick someone from the group and have them read the cards aloud from the first column. Continue along until consensus is reached about the milestones.
Ask some reflective questions from the group:
- What are some events or milestones that stand out for you?
- What, for you, have been high/low points?
- How would you pull this together into a sort of your journey over the last 10 years?
- If you were to give our journey a title, what would it be?
This exercise can stir up some memories amongst group members, for good and bad. The members of the group nearly always learn something even if they were with the project/company all along. Allow discussion. This will help them vent and/or understand and prep them to move on to the next exercise.