Leith Co-Creation - working together to create value for all Co-creation meetings

Co-creation meetings bring together internal and external stakeholders (such as senior management, employees, customers, suppliers, partners, academics, members of the community) with widely differing agendas to pool their knowledge, generate high potential ideas, agree which ones to take forward, and make robust plans for collaborative action. There is no limit to the number of participants in a co-creation meeting, but 50 to 200 people tends to be the norm.

Most of the co-creation meetings I produce in partnership with clients are based on a combination of Open Space Technology and other, more overtly-structured, methods.

When to use co-creation meetings

This tool was created by Paul Miller (chairman of the Intranet Benchmarking Forum) and Martin Leith, based on Bryan Smith’s model.

Issue / desired results / way forward are clear   Issue / desired results / way forward are unclear
Low complexity   High complexity
Low uncertainty   High uncertainty
Pre-determined outcome   Open outcome
Single stakeholder group / single agenda   Multiple stakeholder groups / multiple agendas
Typical issue        
We want everyone to know what the company’s vision is   We want to hear employees’ problems, and their suggestions for tackling them   We want to foster a sense of community and belonging
We want people to be aware of the need to cut costs by 25%   We want people to adopt the new process that has been developed   We want breakthrough ideas
We want to inform everyone of the year-end results   We want people to recognise the need for change   We want to engage in strategic conversations with diverse stakeholder groups
We want to show the new advertising campaign to the sales force   We want employees to implement the corporate strategy at local level   We want to co-create a compelling vision of the future
We want to make an announcement to the media   We want to integrate the company we recently acquired   We want to solve an insoluble problem

When designing a co-creation meeting (this is normally done by a design team that includes a small sample of the people who will take part in the meeting) it is important to spend at least as much time considering what will happen after the meeting as is spent thinking about the meeting itself. Co-creation often begins with a meeting or large scale event, but it’s much more than an event - it’s an iterative process of experimentation and learning.

Many co-creation meetings have a dual purpose:

  Kick-starting one or more vital projects
  Setting behavioural change in motion

Likewise, each project team that is established during or following a co-creation meeting also has a dual purpose:

  Bringing into being something new, tangible or intangible, that delivers maximum value
  Serving as a learning laboratory in which new behaviours can be practiced

This second point means that mechanisms must be put in place to facilitate the emergence of the desired behaviours and their subsequent spread across the organisation as a whole.

My colleagues at thenew.org and I can help establish these mechanisms and ensure that the greatest amount of behavioural change and organisational learning flows from the co-creation meeting.


Anchors aweigh

Full steam ahead

• Broadly
Design and deliver a co-creation meeting Enable the delivery of vital projects initiated during the co-creation meeting
• In more detail

Help leaders understand the wider implications of holding a co-creation meeting

Design and deliver the co-creation meeting in partnership with the client team

Establish cross-functional teams to deliver vital projects

Instal a mechanism that will enable project teams to acquire new behaviours and deliver their projects successfully

Work with project teams to help them display new behaviours

Help the leadership team:

1. Determine and display the required behaviours
2. Provide the right kind of support to the project teams
3. Spread the new behaviours from the project teams to the wider organisation

Facilitate communication within the organisation using the intranet and other channels

SERVICE PROVIDED BY Leith Co-Creation (Martin Leith and colleagues) Leith Co-Creation in partnership with thenew.org