Collaborative Problem-Solving at AMR IdeaCON
Molly Marsh, AMR Director of Education and Engagement Design
I love that AMR strives to make high quality-training and ongoing professional development available to all members of the team. But when planning the inaugural IdeaCON internal association management training conference, we knew that just providing education wouldn’t help us achieve our goals of becoming a stronger, more collaborative team…
To spark a collaborative spirit, we knew we needed to do something truly collaborative as a part of the event. Don’t just talk about how nice it would be to work together, actually do it and experience the results! So, the planning team identified three common areas that impact all of AMR’s teams in different ways and for which we need to work together to be truly successful: Basecamp (our project management tool), managing conflict and developing a data-strategy for or organization. Each AMR employee selected the topic area(s) most of interest to him/her and departments were mixed to ensure a cross-functional Project Team could tackle the issue from every angle. Through a variety of interactive exercises, from a Crazy Eights idea-generating session to interactive role-plays and explorations of association case studies, each Project Team explored current experience with the issue, identified areas of opportunity and – ultimately – developed a series of recommendations for AMR’s ongoing growth and evolution.
Using creative and interactive educational models to tackle some of the common challenges and issues we face day-to-day allowed us to do so much more than just learn from one another at the event. It provided a platform for discussion, allowed us to get to know staff members we don’t always work with closely and uncover new ideas to help improve our organization. A complete list of the recommendations from each Project Team has been shared to support the ongoing organizational improvement initiatives going on at AMR. Stay tuned for a mid-year update, we can’t wait to share how far we’ve come!