Co-creating the Future: Working with Groups to Assess, Plan, and Innovate

Gregory Smith

Document Type Presentation

A presentation made at the Computers in Libraries & Internet Librarian 2020 virtual conference, 22 September 2020. Workshop slide deck and bibliography are available here.


Evolving conditions require organizations to change. Organizational leaders must engage with stakeholders to co-create their shared future; in many cases, this involves working with groups of people. This presentation shares five techniques for facilitating effective group sessions:

  1. Establish and uphold rules of engagement.
  2. Ask specific, deliberate questions.
  3. Use constraints to unleash creativity.
  4. Use concrete resources to stimulate thinking.
  5. Sequence activities to achieve desired outcomes.

Techniques are based on personal experience and literature published in fields such as marketing research, design thinking, and organization development. The examples in the presentation come from a library setting, but the techniques are readily applicable to other contexts.