“We aim for progress, not perfection.” This is one of the working principles we share at the start of every Q Lab UK workshop. We acknowledge that our time together can feel messy or unfinished, and that is okay. As we shifted our focus to idea generation in our most recent workshop it was important for test teams and contributors to embrace this principle.
As we shifted our focus to idea generation in our most recent workshop it was important for test teams and contributors to embrace this principle.
We’re currently in the ‘refining areas of opportunity’ phase of the Lab – which looks at bringing together what we’re learning to identify areas ripe for change. Since the last workshop, our four test teams have continued with their research plans and finalised their challenge statements.
The latest workshop was split into two parts: part one focused on taking the test teams through idea generation and coming up with ideas to address their challenges. Contributors then joined us for part two to hear and to feedback on progress from the morning session.
Read on to find out what we got up to.
Part 1: Supporting test teams through idea generation
We introduced test teams to the concept of ideation and prototyping. At this point in the process, teams have undertaken some research in their local context and started to make sense of the insights and themes that have emerged. To support the teams to brainstorm ideas, we used a ‘How might we’ question format which offered teams a chance to answer them in different ways and provided more space for creative thinking.
Each team focused on the same two ‘How might we’ questions around the topic, as well as a separate question specific to their group’s chosen challenge. In the absence of ‘real life’ A3 paper, flipcharts, felt tips and sticky notes, we used Miro, a virtual whiteboard. It was great to see collaboration happening in real time as sticky notes and comments flew across the screen.
We encouraged teams to bear in mind a few guiding principles to get the best out of the activity, including:
- focusing on the importance of quantity over quality
- deferring judgment
- encouraging wild ideas
- building on the ideas of others – using ‘yes, and’
Part 2: World café
After a quick break, we invited contributors to join the second part of the workshop. We used a world café style activity that supported contributors to hear from test teams about their initial ideas, and to share insights, feedback and any new ideas.
Being ‘curious’ is a very important attitude that can help to open our perspectives to new possibilities and ideas.
We encouraged people to lean into their curiosity throughout the session. Being ‘curious’ is a very important attitude that can help to open our perspectives to new possibilities and ideas. We also practised the skill of tolerating uncertainty and ambiguity. Drawing on this, we asked contributors to focus on this attitude and skill as they considered what they liked, wondered, and could offer in relation to the initial ideas that were generated.
Both of these are important for this stage of the Lab process and are detailed in skills for collaborative change.
We hope that teams went away with additional ideas and feedback to develop their projects, and that contributors have taken away new insights and inspiration to help drive action in this area.
“The remoteness brings to the front individual circumstances […] so it becomes almost inevitable to see a patient as a person […] full of hobbies, a particular lifestyle. It is something that changes the way we see this relationship between clinicians and patients.”
Q Lab UK participant
Our next workshop is in April. We’ll be bringing together test teams and contributors to further explore some of the tensions, questions and emerging challenges we’ve heard over the last few months from across the topic.
Over the next month, test teams will build on the ideas they started to generate and use the contributor feedback to start developing and testing their ideas in practice. We’ll also be running some peer learning sessions for people involved in the Lab and are continuing to progress our collaboratively developed system map.
Have you got any thoughts or questions about the test teams’ projects? Or, even better, can you offer them any helpful resources or support? You can contact teams directly or post comments on the online group.