We use the Canvas for organizing any kind of collaboration, planning, problem solving, innovation, improvement and decision making.
The power of its simplicity is that it is an alternative to what would otherwise be a time and talent wasting process. There are multiple ways groups waste time and talent without a smart model.
- Debating opinions and assumptions back and forth rather than identifying questions
- Having people dominating and dependent rather than equal participating
- Making decisions based on position, personality, debate or opinion rather than research
- Having a few carry the load for the many rather than shared engagement
- Trying to operate from roles rather than explicit group agreements
- Creating planning risks by being too near term rather than having a long term view
- Having unspoken wants, needs, feedback and tensions rather than a place for each to show up
- Needing a leader to exert control rather than the group organizing itself
- Relying on the continuous disconnects in email and meetings rather than having a single shared collaboration space
- Taking on more or less work than available resources rather than resource and work balancing
- Developing unrealistic plans by assuming resources rather than clarifying them
- Creating priority confusion and conflict by prioritizing single items rather than whole lists of items
Each of these waste time and talent. They don't happen in the Canvas which accelerates engagement and outcomes because of how it is organized. Even with just the simplicity of four conversations, the Canvas makes these wastes less possible, and makes more possible continuous focus, velocity and alignment.