Work Organization

A canvas can create, start and guide conversations about anything you need. 

“Canvas” — a buzz word? A mega trend? Or a helpful tool? For me, a canvas is a support tool for teams that have given themselves a new structure and/or way of working.

New teams, new team members, new roles and responsibilities, new workflows and a lot more “news” that employees in almost all industries and companies today have to deal with, make it necessary to think more about tools that help those employees deal and deliver.

And a canvas can do exactly that.

Other topics in Collaboration:

My thinking on new work

all about teamdecoder

and a great workshop facilitation technique: LEGO (R) Serious Play (R) 

Canvas-ation ?!

Conversation is the A and O of great, effective and fun collaboration. But sometimes people sit around a table and do not know how to start the meeting. Especially when they are new or have never worked in that combination before. Or there are different/ex hierarchies in the room and some attendees are too shy to speak up.

A canvas can create, start and guide conversations about anything you need. And the Canvasation Lab is here to create these canvases with you for your individual purposes.

Different Styles

I would like to show you three different kinds of canvases, that I have individually developed in the past, as examples of what is possible:

> you will find some examples a but further down on this page


There are 3 steps to find the best canvas for your team:

1. WHO is working together? That includes a) the actual team sitting around the table (drawing: in the middle) and b) their environment (hierarchies, stakeholders, etc - drawing: soccer field around them)

2. WHAT is the goal of that interdisciplinary team work?

3. HOW does the canvas need to be build precisely so that the team can achieve the goal in the given environment?

Here are 3 examples of how a canvas can look like and what situations it can help in:

#1: How It All Began

It all started with my own canvas. I had just developed the Relevance Methodology and was doing my first workshops with companies, when I realized that I needed to find a way that would allow possible participants to get to know the methodology in a simple way and short time frame, or maybe let them use it after I have left for a different task at stake or even if they wanted to use it without me. They can do that — it’s open source ;)

That is when the Relevance Methodology Canvas was born.

#2: Re-Integration Of Strategic And Creative Thinking

Most companies have gotten used to outsourcing strategic and creative thinking to agencies and consultancies. I think that’s bad. I am convinced that companies have to re-learn and re-integrate this thinking that is responsible for defining the role of a brand within this world and the relationship that it is going to have with people.

These elements are so crucial for brands that it should not be developed outside the company, but it should be an essential part of what the company actually does. In these cases a “creative thinking canvas” can help teams to do exactly that. Sit around a table, in an interdisciplinary team and think further then they ever have — develop an own strategic vision and idea of what that vision could mean creatively.

Have them have a better idea in their own minds before you have them talk to agencies and consultancies. The canvas will guide them through this process — maybe even in a gamification approach like in the image.

#3: Lateral Leadership In Interdisciplinary Teams

With the rise of complexity in most companies bosses have to give way to specialists that lead interdisciplinary teams without being their superior. They have to become coaches rather than managers and need to enable their employees to deliver their best in these interdisciplinary teams, lead by someone else.

These teams will definitely be lost in the beginning. They have never worked in this formation before, they might not even know each other, they might have been on opposites sides before the change or worse in higher and lower decision structures. And now they are all the same, and no boss is near to make a decision. A canvas will help those teams through those times, guide them in the development of projects and bring them closer to their first team decision.