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What is a CoLab?

CoLab-inKNOWvateA Colab by inKNOWvate (now DiscoveryFuel.com) is a facilitated group experience specifically designed to create the necessary conditions for intensively creative and productive activity. As implied in the name, Collab-oration refers to a group working together as a unified whole, rich in diversity, celebrating the variation in points of view, experiences, personality types, expertise and work styles. The Lab-oratory component of CoLab refers to an environment where participants can make discoveries and be highly creative. Underlying the entire design of the experience is the intention of creating a community of individuals who will work together as a coordinated whole for achieving a mutually created vision/goal.
The mechanics of a CoLab involve a series of facilitated work sessions - all carefully crafted to build one upon the other and to foster intensely productive and creative insights, solutions, plans, etc. The outcome of each work session and, ultimately the outcome of the entire multi-day event, are a direct result of desired outcomes pre-specified by principals and stakeholders.

The Primary Ingredients in a CoLab

Below is a general definition of the future 'scope of work' that will be included within the actual proposal, to be presented at a later date.

The CoLab Group Experience

The word "CoLab" represents two vital aspects of a facilitated group experience:

  1. Laboratory: A place to make discoveries, to uncover important truths, together with those who are your community.
  2. Collaboration: Working together as a unified whole – rich in diversity – celebrating variation in points of view and creativity – all coordinated for achieving a mutually created vision or goal.
    • We create a "workspace experience" where things get done.
    • We facilitate a series of experiences -- work sessions -- all carefully crafted to build one upon the other and to foster intensely productive and creative solutions, insights, and plans.
    • The outcome of each work session and, ultimately the outcome of the entire multi-day event, is a direct result of desired outcomes pre-specified by company principals and stakeholders.
  3. whatiscolab2.JPGKnowledge capture: We document key information during the CoLab event using various content mapping methods to capture the essence of insights and activities that emerge during your CoLab event. These materials will be made available online as an essential resource for post CoLab developments (otherwise known as the "Continuum").

What might a one to three day CoLab look like?

  1. Day One (From Passion to Envisioning) - WHY are we doing this?
    1. Stakeholder values alignment
    2. Values synthesis to shape a common vision
    3. Crafting an integrated mission with the vision
    4. Storytelling to develop a company 'value proposition'

    Outcomes: Core values and vision shared by the organization and stakeholder community

  2. Day Two (From Vision to Goals) - WHAT do we want to achieve?
    1. Expanding understanding of Six Point Architecture (tm) for purpose of broadening group's perspective
    2. Second iteration of the first day's value proposition in light of the Six Point Architecture

    Outcomes: Develop the organization's highest level goals and how it will be organized

  3. Day Three (From Goals to Actionable Strategy) - HOW are we going to do it?
    1. Creation of critical paths
    2. Descrete projects: Who does what, when, where, how?

    Outcomes: Timeline of milestones, critical steps, resources needed, and responsible people

Virtual (or online) CoLab

We document key information during the CoLab event using various content mapping methods to capture the essence of insights and activities that emerge during your CoLab event. These materials will be made available online as an essential resource for post CoLab developments (otherwise known as the "Continuum").

We ensure that the agreements, ideas, discussions, wisdom, knowledge, learnings, skills and memories, etc, are preserved in a format that allows for continued development and evolution. The outcomes of the event will be Web-based synthesis put into a storybook form that shows the generation of the CoLab including: graphic imagery, all white boards notes, group creations, vision and strategic outcomes; videos and audios of key CoLab sessions. Graphic recordings of meeting minutes with real-time graphic representations of discussions, ideas, agreements.

How Do We Design?

  1. We assist in the development of creating a core team. With the core team, we then interview key stakeholders to determine your desires, requirements, and anticipated outcomes. Additionally, we provide guidance on how to develop the process so that it provides you with accelerated achievement toward needed action and anticipated outcomes.
  2. We review your existing documents/content (vision, strategies, stakeholder lists, etc.) looking for specific actions that you'd like to achieve and then incorporate them into the CoLab experience so that those projects/actions can be moved forward and/or even completed. For example, if you need a feasibility study done, we can make that one of the activities that the collective designs for you; right down to the responsible people, when milestones are completed, and what resources are needed.
  3. When we design, here are just a few essential aspects that we consider while crafting your CoLab into a customized experience.
    1. CoLab logistics
      1. Dates and number of days
      2. Stakeholder enrollment; number of participants what days
      3. Venue: location, overnight needs, pre-event room access, meeting times,bathrooms, parking, catering, handicap access, music, sound, room configuration,chairs, tables, whiteboards (existing, ours), etc.
      4. Anticipated budget required (CoLab plus venue, number of days)
      5. Downpayment commitment date
    2. CoLab investment objectives
      1. How does a client justify cost?
      2. What is the desired return on your investment?
      3. What are the key performance metrics or milestones?
    3. CoLab design principles
      1. Common ground and values
      2. Company identity through storytelling
      3. Triple bottom line perspective
      4. Harvesting information that informs decision making
      5. Developing a self sustaining learning system
      6. Innovation through whole-system integration

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