A Magical Meeting Story from Fabrizio Faraco, a certified facilitator in Lego® Serious Play® Methodology, a project manager, trainer, mentor, and speaker based in Rome, Italy.
Welcome to Magical Meetings Stories, a series where I chat with professional facilitators, meeting practitioners, leaders, and CEOs across industries about their meeting culture. We dive deep into a specific magical meeting they’ve run, including their approach to facilitation design, and their tips and tricks for running meetings where people thrive.
Fabrizio Faraco is a facilitator and project manager from Rome, Italy. I spoke with Fabrizio about the From Starters to Solutions and From Solutions to Actions meeting, the reason behind it, and his proudest moments from the meeting.
Fabrizio’s meeting is called From Starters to Solutions and From Solutions to Actions. The meeting is a series of exercises in the style of a design sprint. Fabrizio designed this meeting for clients that need a portion of a design sprint facilitated in a comprehensive and accelerated format.
In this particular meeting, Fabrizio’s client hired him to quickly align their team and identify actionable solutions to the critical problem. Let’s take a closer look at Fabrizio’s process to learn what made this meeting magical.
In a From Starters to Solutions and From Solutions to Actions meeting, the facilitator works to unify the team and to problem solve.
In this meeting, the facilitator will select the following:
- In-person or online
- The meeting should not exceed three hours
- Six – eight participants
- Mural or Miro
- Affinity Diagram
- Align a team
- Identify the critical obstacle
- Determine the sequence of milestones
- Develop actionable solutions
This particular meeting was attended by six to eight team members that were critical to the meeting’s success.
Plan the Workshop:
Before the session begins, the facilitator will prepare with the following:
- Identify the client’s goal
- Share RosterBot data
The facilitator defines the goal of the client ahead of the meeting. As they prepare, they’ll discuss the RosterBot interviews with participants.
Ahead of the meeting, Fabrizio refines the client’s goal to ensure all team members know the purpose of the meeting. Fabrizio then shared the RosterBot results as a way to align the team members based on their roles. The software helped identify team members’ strengths and areas of expertise.
The facilitator will send an icebreaker on Mural or Miro to ensure all participants are familiar with the software and to help kickstart collaboration.
The facilitator will begin the meeting by encouraging ideation. Since From Starters to Solutions and From Solutions to Actions is a quick and dirty design sprint, this phase also involves organizing ideas with the help of an affinity diagram.
Fabrizio used an affinity diagram to organize the team’s ideas from their brainstorming session. This diagram helped team members find relationships between information and ideas to help solve the problem.
Fabrizio noted the collaborative benefit of an accelerated sprint:
“So everybody contributes. You have a bigger range of potential solutions. It’s not important who has the best idea, because at the end you get the most useful idea that belongs to everybody.”
The facilitator then uses DASYLab to set a series of milestones and initiate the decision phase. These milestones help the team identify how to achieve the desired state and meet the client’s deliverables.
Fabrizio used DASYLab to create a precise series of milestones. This intentionality made it easier for team members to identify the best potential solutions. In the meeting, each person had five posts on DASYLab, starting with future milestones as they worked backwards.
“It’s quite complex. If you have three [milestones], you have 15 posted. If you have 10 people, we have 50 posted. So it becomes pretty detailed, and during the construction of the timeline, there is again, alignment which is the real thing that matters in order to find the desired state.”
The facilitator closes the From Starters to Solutions and From Solutions to Actions meeting by encouraging team members to identify and validate actionable solutions using both RosterBot and DASYLab. Once team members develop solutions, they either vote for the best solution or create a three-step plan to make it actionable.
Facilitators can use this three-step approach:
- Identify three steps to implement the idea
- Place X, Y, Z statement: If 30% of these people do this, it means that it works
With the help of DASYLab and RosterBot, Fabrizio encouraged team members to approach this design sprint in a round-robin fashion. This structure allowed team members to find a solution, critique it, refine it, then find the final solution that in turn resolved any issues from the critique. The team then chose to either vote on the solution or create a three-step plan to implement it later.
Purpose to Practice
As an accelerated design sprint,
From Starters to Solutions and From Solutions to Actions is a quick and dirty way to align a team and design actionable solutions. I asked Fabrizio what moment from this meeting made him the proudest and he spoke about the innovative power of quick ideation:
“I’m proud that in very few days, I can give value to my client and I can have a quick and dirty workshop that allows me to get enough information and solutions for my client.”
As he reflected on the From Starters to Solutions and From Solutions to Actions meeting, Fabrizio also noted room for future improvements for the session. Fabrizio likes to begin each meeting by unifying the team on their “why”. By identifying the client’s objective early on, he can employ elements of the purpose to practice Liberating Structures system during his meetings. Fabrizio realized throughout the session that some team members still needed clarity regarding the basics.
In the past, Fabrizio used the purpose to practice system before using DASYLab, but noted the team didn’t fully understand the collective “why”:
“Finding the why for a company, it’s a good exercise to have at least intent and purpose quite clear.”
With increased clarity of one’s purpose comes a clear idea of solutions that work. By clarifying the why and putting purpose into practice, Fabrizio enjoys the most success in the From Starters to Solutions and From Solutions to Actions sessions:
“This meeting made [it] possible to actually focus and find and align a team toward different solutions and allow everybody into the team to present a solution. So there is a power of the fact that each participant has to take responsibility and have his voice or his idea on the table before the discussion happens… It quickly allows the people to have something that they can start putting in place at the end of the meeting.”
Do you have your own Magical Meeting Story to tell?
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