Organizational Development Consultant

Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #19 Road Shows

August 8, 2014

“We need to make significant changes in our organization in order to successfully compete in the future. Our leaders have a fair idea of the challenges we face, but we’d like to gather input from the employees in some way that will help us gain a full picture of our issues and opportunities, and also start to mobilize the organization for the changes ahead. What is the most effective way to accomplish this?”

#19 Road Shows

What are Road Shows?

While most meetings involve a smaller number of participants, Road Shows can involve whole departments, divisions or geographical locations of an organization. The purpose of Road Shows is to gather ideas for improvement and hear reactions to work in progress. Road Shows are usually traveling exhibits which are held in multiple locations. This allows for gathering a full range of views and perspectives, and is part of the process for mobilizing relevant parts of the organization for change. Road Shows are almost always part of a larger project design and part of its communication plan.

Road Shows are held in a large common area, either on or off site, with displays or booths along the parameters, and also in the middle of the room if space is adequate. Each part of the Road Show is usually staffed by a Project Team member or member of the Executive Steering Team (if there is one). The preparation for Road Show is significant, but the payoff is huge.

Facilitating the design, planning and implementation of a Road Show is not for beginners. If you are not a seasoned professional, strongly consider using an outside consultant or someone from within your organization who has such experience.

When to Use Road Shows?

  • When your organization faces a significant challenge that will require changes on all or most levels of your business
  • When input from many perspectives is required to determine the best solutions for future success
  • When you want high visibility and involvement in your project
  • When a smaller group of people, i.e. a project team, have done some level of preparation and want reactions and further input

How to Use Road Shows?

Before the Meeting

1. Determine the scope and objectives of your Road Show.

2. Agree the scope and objectives with your Project Sponsor and Executive Steering Group (if one exists), and engage their active support.

3. Determine who will support you in the preparation for your Road Show. These people will likely be project team members. If your Road Show isn’t part of a larger project, then recruit representatives from each of your stakeholder groups. These people will help build the presentations and materials for the Road Show and/or will present their section during the Road Show itself.

NOTE: Presentation sections and their materials should be self-explanatory, but you should also have a person or two staffing each booth or display. You may choose for these people to provide formal mini-presentations during the Road Show, or just to draw people into their part of the event and to answer questions. They should always be credible representatives of their topic, be enthusiastic about sharing information on their topic and encourage feedback from participants.

4. Hold meetings to design your Road Show. You will likely need to hold a series of planning meetings, starting with the big picture and then working down to the details.

a) Confirm the purpose and scope of your Road Shows with your planning team.

b) Determine the key communication topics, and the logical flow of the room.

     See below for an example of a room set up for a Road Show.

ppt_slides_for_ASB_book_2__pptx

c) Plan how each part of your Road Show will be participative. This could involve asking for feedback on sticky notes, placing dots on priority areas, etc.

d) Confirm that the overall design of the Road Show and the details of each presentation/display/booth are appropriately consistent in their level of detail, and that together they tell a compelling and intriguing story to their various audiences.

e) Agree roles and responsibilities for each person on the planning team.

f) Check the progress and draft materials during their development to ensure consistency and quality.

g) Allow plenty of time for printing materials and preparing displays.

NOTE: Displays can be prepared on large pieces of brown paper. This makes it easy to roll up and transport from location to location.

5. Invite the participants to your Road Show. Invitations should come from the Project Sponsor or another person of influence and authority. Send invitations well in advance. Consider various modes of communication, i.e. e-mail, wall posters, etc.

6. Set up the room well in advance of your Road Show. Staging the room takes time. Ensure there is plenty of room to move around, and that all topic areas are clearly marked.

7. Do a walk through/dry run of the Road Show with those presenting. Have them share their key points and presentations with other presenters. This is for two reasons. (1) Other presenters will then know the content and key points from all parts of the Road Show. This will help them communicate to participants as required during the day. (2) It allows a time for presenter feedback and a review for consistency of messaging.

During the Meeting

1. Greet people when they come in and explain the purpose and flow of the Road Show room.

2. Ensure that all is going to plan, i.e. presenters are doing a good job of ‘staffing their booth,’ adequate materials such as sticky notes are available, and refreshments are replenished. Make last minute course corrections if required.

3. Thank people for attending as they leave.

After the Meeting

1. Hold a de-brief session with all involved in preparing for and presenting at your Road Show. Ask the group what went well and opportunities for improvement.

2. Determine how to make improvements to future Road Shows.

3. Gather and document the information received during your Road Show. Individual presenters should be accountable for collecting and documenting feedback from their own part of the Road Show, or appoint person/s to collect data from all ‘booths’. Also appoint an overall coordinator to confirm that nothing is lost. Have a method in place to be able to distinguish feedback from different sessions. Feedback may vary by geography or company division.

4. Analyze the feedback you received in the Road Shows and determine how to use it.

5. Communicate back to participants, thanking them for their participation and providing highlights of your findings and next steps.

In Summary:

The purpose of Road Shows is to gather ideas for improvement and hear reactions to work in progress. Road Shows can involve whole departments, divisions or geographical locations of an organization.

Before the Meeting

1. Determine the scope and objectives of your Road Show.

2. Agree the scope and objectives with your Project Sponsor and Executive Steering Committee (if one exists), and engage their active support.

3. Determine who will support you in the preparation for your Road Shows.

4. Hold meetings to design your Road Show.

a) Confirm the purpose and scope of your Road Show with your planning team.

b) Determine the key communication topics, and the logical flow of the room.

c) Plan how each part of your Road Show will be participative.

d) Confirm that the overall design of the Road Show and the details of each presentation.

e) Agree roles and responsibilities for each person on the planning team.

f) Check the progress and draft materials during their development.

g) Allow plenty of time for printing materials and preparing displays.

5. Invite the participants to your Road Show.

6. Set up the room well in advance of your Road Show.

7. Do a walk through/dry run of the Road Show with those presenting.

During the Meeting

1. Greet people when they come in and explain the purpose and flow of the Road Show room.

2. Ensure that all is going to plan

3. Thank people for attending as they leave.

After the Meeting

1. Hold a de-brief session with all involved in preparing for and presenting at your Road Show.

2. Determine how to make improvements to future Road Shows

3. Gather and document the information received during your Road Show.

4. Analyze the feedback you received in the Road Shows and determine how to use it.

5. Communicate back to participants, thanking them for their participation and providing highlights of your findings and next steps.

———————-

NOTE:  If you would like to receive e-mail notification when I post additional techniques, please sign up through this link.   http://eepurl.com/KILan  You may unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply