PREparation is (not quite) everything

By: Alison Coleman Categories: Learning, development & personal growth

Written on the 22nd February 2024

Most people will be familiar with the well-known saying from Benjamin Franklin, “By failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail." We hear it so often that we possibly treat it with a little complacency. However, preparation is invaluable, especially when we are delivering for our clients.

At The Juniper Co., we aim to exceed the expectations of those we are working with. We want to be seen as a trusted partner, to imbue confidence, and to provide everything our clients need, and more. We can only do that by making sure that we are fully prepared.

A good example of how vital thorough preparation can be is when we deliver workshops for our leadership and personal development programmes.

They can involve groups of participants from around the world, either face-to-face or remotely. It is so important for every member of the cohort to feel engaged and that their needs are being met – and that takes some planning!

Preparation for delivering great workshops:

  • Do your research
    At The Juniper Co., we design tailored programmes to meet each client’s requirements. We begin by investing considerable time getting to know the organisation, its challenges, and goals. By gaining a thorough understanding of the client’s needs we are in a much stronger position to deliver a programme that is going to have an impact and sustainable learning outcomes.

  • Perfect your plan
    We take time to consider how we want each workshop to run, and then plan the steps needed to achieve it. This will cover a wide range of requirements, from the content we want to include in the workshop, to how we will communicate with the participants. It will also include thinking about the optimum time and date for the workshop to run, especially if the cohort is split across different countries and time zones. Having a clear plan helps every member of the team perform at their best.

  • Be ready for anything
    Not everything will go to plan! When delivering our workshops, it is important for us to be flexible. We cannot be sure how the participants will react and there will be times, for example, when we feel we need to spend longer than planned on a particular exercise. In that scenario, we need to make the time up somewhere else in the workshop. The more thorough we are with our preparation and the better we know our content, the easier it is to seamlessly adjust in real time. Ensuring we have a dry run before every workshop helps us achieve this.

  • Use the tools available
    Keeping abreast of the latest developments in technology helps us to deliver the highest quality content. There are some great products being created and we would certainly advise keeping an eye on what is available. Programmes like Sessionlab and Mural have been game changers for us in delivering online workshops. However, we make sure that we are fully conversant with how any technology works before we include it in a workshop; and we also have a plan B in place, just in case technology lets us down!

  • Work collaboratively
    We pride ourselves on our ability to work together as a team, whether that is internally here at The Juniper Co. or with our clients. Working collaboratively on live documents gives us shared visibility, so that everyone is aware of the plan and has plenty of opportunity to flag any potential issues. We keep in contact with our clients throughout a project, updating them and seeking their input as things evolve - actively encouraging them to contribute to our workshop design process is so important when providing a bespoke service.

  • Pay attention to detail
    It can be the smallest details that give you the edge. We try to leave no stone unturned when preparing for our workshops. From testing the tech to rehearsing our timings, we make sure it has been covered. By working as a team to cover all these details, we put ourselves in the best possible position to deliver the quality experience that our clients deserve.