Case study: Ideas workshop with the NHS

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Collaborative idea generation 

Mind Map Pro partnered with MediWales and Teamworks in June 2018 to deliver an idea generation workshop at the annual MediWales Connects: NHS Collaboration Conference.

The conference was set up in 2015 to connect and unify every health board and trust that collectively makes up NHS Wales, bringing together clinicians, research and development professionals, as well as medical technology and pharmaceutical partners together in a conference setting.

The workshop, titled ‘100 ideas in 30 minutes’, was delivered as a dynamic creative thinking session for attendees to explore how to improve collaboration within the NHS and with industry, ultimately generating impactful solutions for the future of healthcare.

Gwyn Tudor, CEO of Teamworks Design and Communication, led the workshop whilst Mind Map Pro’s own Tess Coughlan-Allen used Mind Map Pro to mind map the ideas live as they were explored during the workshop.

To begin the session, Gwyn and Tess prepared the first layer of key areas to accelerate the idea generation. These were:

  • Communication
  • People
  • Technology
  • Places
  • Social
  • Legal
  • Economic
  • Political

During the session, the entire group took it in turns to contribute their ideas aloud and were encouraged to develop each other’s points, introduce innovative solutions and share new perspectives. More than 100 ideas were captured live using Mind Map Pro within 30 minutes.

The group were able to see emerging themes being visually represented in the mind map, displayed on three large screens across the room, whilst benefiting from the dynamic and interactive style of workshop.

Key themes included:

  1. Sharing culture:
    – Encouragement to collaborate
    – Collaboration across NHS health boards and trusts, with industry and with third sector
  2. Better use of time:
    – Improving processes
    – Allocating time for thinking, collaborating, R&D
  3. Open data:
    – Digital availability of research expertise
    – Availability of records, populations, lessons learnt, evaluations

Workshop attendees included a mixture of NHS staff, researchers and industry collaborators, adding the benefit of diverse thinking with a variety of  expertise, insights and experiences in the room.

After the workshop, delegates were sent a detailed list of key themes with the mind map as a digital resource to work from, opening up opportunities for ideas to be developed further in professional collaborations.

Why was the session impactful?

  • It was productive and practical
  • There was a dynamic flow of ideas
  • It followed a ‘quantity breeds quality’ method
  • Conclusions from the session were shared with the mind map after the workshop

Why did it work?

  • The interactive nature encouraged input from all
  • The visual mind map helped the group see the discussion evolve
  • The positive environment meant there were no ‘wrong answers’ or disputes
  • A diverse group brought diverse thinking

The session was a demonstration of:

  • Collaborative thinking (a ‘hive mind’)
  • Openness of participants in a supportive and encouraging environment
  • Many shared drivers, barriers, opportunities and observations
  • Actionable, realistic opportunities for improvement

Visual theming for creative outputs

Following the workshop, another workshop host at MediWales Connects used Mind Map Pro to visually theme their session, picking up the tool after seeing it in action for the first time earlier that day.

Sara Long, Welsh Clinical Leadership Fellow for Aneurin Bevan Continuous Improvement and her team delivered a creative workshop with a capture phase to collect thoughts from conversations during the session.

Using Mind Map Pro after their workshop to theme the output into mind maps for sharing, Sara said: ‘We liked how Mind Map Pro helped us to visually bring together the themes that came out of the workshop session.’

The team at Mind Map Pro were delighted that conference attendees could see how easily the tool can be integrated into a creative learning environment to benefit collaborative thinking for all.

Live sessions, future resources

Although the event is over, the delegates from MediWales Connects have been encouraged to use the outcomes of their sessions as digital resources to inform future collaborative projects.

Isabelle Ford, Events and Engagement Manager for MediWales, said:
“Our partnership with Mind Map Pro was a great asset to the conference, allowing us a platform to capture ideas from the day. As a collaboration conference, it was important to get delegates communicating and sharing ideas. We didn’t want these conversations to be lost, so by using Mind Map Pro we now have a resource of ideas to share back with delegates and take forward for future events and partnerships.”

The team from Mind Map Pro will continue to support idea generation and encourage collective thinking from diverse groups. Contact us to learn more, learn how to mind map or find out more about what a mind map is.

Read about other events and workshops we have done, including TEDxBristolCoInnovate and Digital Festival.

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