How to Use Forward Momentum to Look Backward

Another school year is kicking off again, and that brings new challenges for parents, students, and educators, as their schedules change and their responsibilities evolve. The other thing we notice in our business is that this whole flurry of energy that is devoted to getting ready for “back to school” seems to carry over into the working world, even with clients who don’t fall into one of the categories above. Even if they aren’t parents, or students, or don’t have children getting ready for a new term, there’s a contagious sort of enthusiasm or positivity that wells up at this time of year.

Here in Panoptika’s world, this translates to projects like new product (or service) pipeline development, message creation, or team ideation sessions. More of the people we work with want to do things that are creating something new, developing alternatives, or searching for that elusive “next best thing”. Most of them aren’t thinking so much about measuring what’s working, what did work, or where they came from, during this season. As a consequence, our work is invigorating and exciting right now. It’s easy to propel ourselves forward into our workdays. That’s because it’s F-U-N.

Still, we think it’s important to have balance. A little introspection about what worked, or didn’t work, can be useful. Sometimes a simple satisfaction survey—is this working, or not, can give you a snapshot into what’s happening with your team, your clients, or your customers. But more often, they appreciate a more interactive engagement. That same premise of making it fun that we bring to Ideation and Creativity sessions, can elicit customer or colleague feedback that is chock-full of rich, relevant content. 

So don’t just think about putting your Idea-Generating hats on at this time of year, but ask yourself whether there are more ingenious or imaginative ways to register those still-important Checks and Balances.  Some possibilities you might consider (as always, a facilitator can help smooth the way):

  1. Bring your sales team together and ask them to show you how they are actually using the sales tools you’ve provided, by playing a game like Enthiosys’Show and Tell.
  2. Ask your customers to engage in collage-creation or role-playing to demonstrate how they interact with your company. Hyperbole should be encouraged—it gives them a chance to say what they’re really thinking, in the context of exaggeration.
  3. Let your clients create a “what I did to interact with you on my summer vacation” story to give feedback on your organization’s performance.

Looking ahead without pre-adventuring,

Megann & Steve



Make better decisions, get better results, grow your business. We use a deep toolkit of specialized techniques help clarify your objectives, identify decisions that must be made, and eliminate knowledge gaps, resulting in strategy with a firmer foundation and better results.

One thought on “How to Use Forward Momentum to Look Backward

  1. Dan Waldron says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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