Creating Alternatives to Layoffs

This 3 hour workshop for company leaders, senior managers and human resource professionals teaches a process for engaging employees in developing alternatives to layoffs. This process – Meetings on a Napkin™ - can be applied to solve a variety of organizational problems.  Additional benefits lie in the fact that when employees are involved in creating solutions, they are less resistant and more committed to implementation.

Participants will engage in a case study of a company facing potential layoffs and use Meetings on a Napkin™ to develop alternate solutions. They will then prepare to use this process in their own companies. The case is based on a real company participating in the workshop and requires a volunteer to meet with the workshop leader for 90 minutes one week prior to the class.

What are Meetings on a Napkin™?

Meetings on a Napkin is a process and structure that engages large groups in creative problem solving.  Breakthroughs often emerge from informal small group discussions that tap the collective intelligence of those involved. Ideas flow during these conversations and are often captured on a napkin. Essential elements of break through thinking and Meetings on a Napkin include:

  • Framing an open problem
  • Setting a structure for intimate small group discussion and collaboration vs. competition
  • Setting ground rules for exploring possibilities
  • Finding connections and themes
  • Weaving together ideas from the various groups

With these elements in place small groups discover solutions that go far beyond individual contributions. Ideas from the various small groups are woven into a tapestry that reflects the collective intelligence and creativity of everyone who is involved.