World Cafe Week for Walsall Housing Group
A World Cafe week to engage Walsall Housing Group employees in developing a new vision and strategy for 2014-2023
Walsall Housing Group (whg) is one of the largest and most successful providers of high quality housing in the West Midlands, with more than 19,000 properties in the Walsall area. The business has 600 employees.
Paul Trainor Head of Communications & Business Improvement called us up having heard about our work with Orbit Group, another organisation in the housing sector. whg wanted an effective way of involving their people as key stakeholders in the development of a new vision and strategy for the next ten years and were keen to stage a series of face to face workshops.
We proposed using the World Cafe format which is a great process for bringing employees together to work collaboratively on a common challenge – so ideal for involving employees in strategy development. It is essentially a structured, facilitated brainstorm in an informal environment focused on responding to one big, positively framed question.
We have extensive experience of delivering successful Cafes for a number of clients in different sectors and ensuring tangible outcomes that drive real action and change. Our continuing use of the format demonstrates how it can be used in a variety of ways to achieve a wide range of objectives – and it always gets great feedback from participants because the event is about them and their views and ideas.
We believe that the best way to get people to own and work to deliver a vision / strategy is to engage them in co-creating it! A World Cafe is a great way to kick off engaging them in this process and gather extensive feedback which can feed into the strategy development, with a programme of continuing involvement to follow.
The events were a great success with very positive feedback from employees.
Paul ‘s view: “With your support these were great events which have helped us involve our people effectively in developing our new vision. Everyone was able to contribute to the discussion – and people are asking for us to continue with the process in the future.
“We are now taking the feedback from the Cafes and incorporating it into our vision and strategy development.”