Advanced Cat Herding

A whiteboard full of stickies with drawings of cats
Ever been in a workshop you knew was doomed 5 minutes in? It's not that people don't want to do the right thing. Nor is it that we don't want to cooperate. Why is it so hard to lead a group to agree on a problem, visualize a solution, and move toward a goal? Advanced Cat Herding, available as a workshop and eBook, is a collection of our best tips for facilitating workshops and leading a group to create great things together.

You’ve heard it before—“like herding cats” is a favorite simile for getting any group of independent-minded people to move in sync toward a goal. Advanced Cat Herding (available as an eBook and workshop) distills the most important lessons we’ve learned over decades leading teams of cats. I take an in-depth look at the facilitation of effective workshops as one of the primary catalysts of cat collaboration, but I also touch on the sorts of things that help over the life of a project or team.

NewCity uses workshops at all stages of our projects. We use them to make sense of research, define target audiences, explore brand, plan campaigns, organize, design, prototype and test all sorts of things. Sometimes we take for granted all the subtle things we’ve learned that make for a successful workshop. When we facilitate, we don’t explain what we’re doing, we just do it. So this is a little like a magician pulling back the curtain and showing you how the tricks actually work.

In the workshop we take tools and games often used to plan websites and use them as a laboratory for studying the art of facilitation.

You’ll learn things like:

  • Preparing for a workshop
  • The story arc of a great workshop
  • Your role as facilitator
  • Why a person ≠ idea
  • How to help people break out of their usual mental ruts and open up to new ideas
  • Getting the VIPs in the room to be quiet and actually listen
  • Avoiding death by brainstorming
  • Getting the best out of both introverts and extroverts
  • Handling the toughest stakeholders
  • Bringing the group to agreement around an actionable, meaningful vision

Download the Pre-release eBook version of Advanced Cat Herding.

Conference Schedule

Bring Advanced Cat Herding to your organization or conference

David Poteet

(540) 552-1320 x5201

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