We asked all the customers to gather at the front of the room, and to position themselves along an imaginary line according to different feelings, opinions and viewpoints, including:
- Stand at one end if you're expecting a calm 2019, and at the other if you think next year will be turbulent.
- Stand at one end if you can clearly see the future, at the other if the outlook is decidedly fuzzy to you.
For each question we asked the group to comment on where they were standing and why. This activity served as a useful icebreaker by getting everyone standing up and slightly out of their comfort zone. It presented a novel way of looking at the variety of situations and outlooks experienced by customers.
The next session invited participants to come together and share their key challenges and ideas, and also to network together. Small groups discussed:
- What are your key challenges at the moment?
- What would your people like to be able to do, but can’t?
- What excites or concerns you about the next few years?
Participants were then invited to come forward and pick a topic, and were invited to lead a discussion with others who were interested in the same topic.
Allowing customers to spend time talking about their key challenges together enabled them to share experiences and compare these against those of their peers. They were also able to think strategically about their business and its future goals.
A final session aimed to dig deeper, by asking participants to identify any knowledge gaps, or answers they would like to have to important questions. What were they still curious about?