Our BusinessMind annual best of methods, tips, and inspirations

The end of the year is just around the corner.

And we take stock. Questioning what worked well, what not so much.

And we share this knowledge with you.

So it’s a BusinessMind year’s best of methods, tips, and inspiration.

And here we go.

Number 1 – THE basic formula for your success

Before you plan a meeting, workshop, or training, always ask yourself first, “What’s the goal?”

SO often clients come to us with a plan: “Let’s do parallel working groups, preferably a World Café.”

Everyone loves World Cafés. 🙂 We do, too. BUT:

In the discussions, it then often turns out that a World Café is not the right approach. That another method is much better suited.

Just remember the principle: methods follow goals, not vice versa!!!


TIP: If you’re struggling with goal setting, these questions may help:

  • What should be different after the event than before?
  • What should be reached?
  • What benefit should the event bring?

It can also be helpful to formulate non-goals in order to define your goals more clearly. That is: what do I definitely NOT want to achieve with the event? What should it NOT be about?

But CAUTION: Do not confuse the targets with the results! Compared to the more overarching goals, the results are concrete outcomes, i.e., what “comes out” of your event (measurable), such as a list of problem-solving suggestions, a DRAFT Vision 2050, a listing of an organization’s core competencies, a TO DO list, etc.

Our number 2 – almost as important as the goals: the Omega rochade.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do a Omega Rochade.

In the Omega Rochade, you anticipate possible concerns of your participants by addressing them directly and rebutting them. To do this, you use the “possibiliy form” (after all, we are talking about POSSIBLE concerns).

We forget about the Omega rochade every now and then, and so far we have ALWAYS regretted it.

Here we have already described the Omega rochade in detail.


Now to our favorite methods.

Here’s a basic tip to start with: always take time for a short warm-up. Your participants are always coming from somewhere and have their heads full – give them time to arrive in the room (onsite as well as online), take a deep breath and get ready for what’s coming.

1. favorite method: break outs with questions

Online we like to do a first round of break out rooms with Icebreaker questions. These can be related to the theme of your event, but don’t have to be.

Especially in a training or workshop, this exercise is suitable because you take away the participants’ shyness to talk. In addition, they get to know each other a little.

You can also do this exercise on the spot. Ask your participants to turn once to the left, once to the right, and once to the back/front and to answer the questions with their neighbors.

Alternatively, you can have them draw a joint poster together (gee, there are just TOO MANY good methods 😉 ).

In small groups, commonalities are written in the center of a flip chart, which your participants discover among themselves. In individual fields around the “community circle”, individual concerns, expectations, hobbies, etc. are noted. You can vary this exercise – like most others – depending on your goal: do you just want your participants to get to know each other better, or do you also want to ask about their expectations, expertise, areas of responsibility, etc.?

2. favorite method: Online Brainwalking

One method we like to use – whether onsite or online – is brainwalking because it combines one-on-one and group work so well and also gives quiet people a chance to be heard.

Here we have described online brainwalking in detail before.

Of course, you can also use Brainwalking “old school” on-site: simply set up a few flipcharts in the room, provide them with questions, explain the rules well (and then again between the individual steps of the exercise!) and you’re ready to go (the rules are basically the same online as onsite, so the link above will help you with onsite Brainwalking as well!)

Let’s come to an end.

As a closer – but which is just as suitable as an opener (so that it doesn’t get boring here! 😉 ) – we like the association exercise with object very much. This is then already our 3rd favorite method.

3. favorite method: association exercise with object

In this exercise, you ask your participants to intuitively grab an object that represents for them e.g. the most important learning (in trainings) or e.g. the most important TO DO first thing after the event (e.g. in workshops). In the plenum, everyone then presents their object briefly and succinctly. And thereby anchor the most important thing of the meeting physically. Super!


As mentioned, this method is also suitable as an introduction, or e.g. to introduce participants of a panel discussion.

Ask each discussant to bring an object that he or she associates with the topic. As you can see, there are simply no limits to creativity with this exercise. That’s why we like it so much 😉

So, we could go on typing forever here, but such a best of is no longer a best of if the list is endlessly long.

We hope we could give you some inspiration for the new year! Leave us a comment and tell us about your personal best of!

All the best,
Your BusinessMind Team