The Art and Science of Engagement

Understanding the needs of your customer is at the core of the Lean Philosophy and our organization has had the good fortune to work with a variety of client groups to better understand what they want. Having completed our 21st client engagement session, here are a few quick tips on how to make an engagement session most successful.

  1. Be Clear on the Purpose of the Engagement – Having your clients in the room is a unique opportunity to really think through the purpose of the engagement and how it would be possible for you to get the most out of it.
  2. Know your audience – If possible survey your audience prior to actually engaging with them, this will help ensure you have the right information and set up for the engagement session.
  3. Share Information Ahead – Hand out key information prior to the session and make it required reading. If you are successful with this you will have ample time to query your clients to better understand what they want instead of wasting time telling them what you think they need.
  4. Think About Flow – At a recent session we were expecting about 40-50 but at the last minute interest picked up and we were informed that the head count was up to 150. Our venue was a bit tight for a crowd that size, but we made it work because we applied our Lean Thinking Tools to ensure people were able to flow through the venue with ease.
  5. Make it Fun and Focus on Engaging (Listening not Talking) – I can’t emphasize this point enough, energy is everything, getting everyone in the room involved instead of just being talked at is key to a successful engagement session. My latest Lego rants are not just about Lego but about getting people involved and having some real fun!
  6. Last – but not the least – be adaptable, have a back up plan and don’t expect perfection! Emotions are messy, situations are difficult and plans fall apart, if you are able to maintain your inner peace and calm and focus on the purpose, the rest will take care of itself!

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