Future of Now banner

Dan Levy, Remote Workshops, Getting the best out of your team

Remote Workshops, Getting the best out of your team with Dan Levy

The following excerpt is transcribed from the Zoom event that took place on 27 August 2020.


Dan is the principal of More Space for Light. More Space for Light is an Innovation and Strategy Consultancy. Their design-led approach to solving business problems helps leaders and teams overcome constraints related to strategy, product, service, or process. Dan is also active in tertiary industry education lecturing and also speaking nationally on the subjects of Human-Centred Design, Design Thinking and Strategy.


Workshop fundamentals

More Space for Light, just like many organisations, experienced the growing pains of switching daily operations to remote and back again to a ‘new normal’. In this interactive session, we brought you into the world of More Space and shed some light on what our months of adjustment looked like. Together we unpacked the challenges of translating the principles of in-person work to remote collaboration and discussed the benefits of workshop fundamentals for a smoother transition. From framing intent to setting behaviours, we shared what worked and what didn’t.


Guiding principles

The Remote Work Playbook from More Space for Light was used as a key resource to provide insight into how we adapted our three guiding principles — 

  1. How we look after each other – how we care for each other, our wellbeing, and mindfulness.
  2. How we work together – how we work with the group not just in the workshop but also the end to end experience. 
  3. How we engage – our expectations of behaviours both of our team and stakeholders in how we show up and what we expect from each other.

These principles are based on insights gathered from real-life workshops along with bad behaviours witnessed during remote engagements where ground rules weren’t set in advance. 

With many organisations going remote, where do you see the future of workshop facilitation once things start to return to ‘normal’? 

DL – Regardless of the pandemic I had always thought a hybrid mode of workshop participation (remote and in-person) would be the way forward. Up until recently I hadn’t put much thought into how this would actually work as we’ve generally worked either exclusively remote or in-person. Something that we have learnt through experience is that there has to be intentionality in your workshop design, this isn’t just in regard to fulfilling the meeting criteria, but also in how you engage on the various platforms.

I’ve heard of people conducting hybrid models where you have people in person and also remote at the same time. In working in this way we see a big challenge of the pace of each environment. Which will cause frustrations for workshop participants. Unless people are one hundred per-cent engaged in the experience, it makes it really hard to juggle different working methods. 

I did learn an invaluable insight from a podcast that featured a speaker from Atlassian. The speaker shared an insight that they’d gained from Trello, a company that they’d acquired. A guideline that really resonated was if one person is remote, everyone is remote. So that means even if the majority of workshop participants are in the same office, and there are a few people dialling in remotely, everybody has to sit down at a machine and everyone engages in a similar experience. This is a powerful lesson as it ensures everyone has the same meeting and/or workshop experience.

In summary, I would not be just looking at the workshop activities. I would be abstracting that to the challenge of ‘How might we ensure everybody is engaged during this decision-making or collaboration experience?’ Once you start thinking at this level, it will keep you honest to focus on the intended experience you want people to have to gain the outcomes you need to progress. 

Further reading

To see all our speaker Future Of Now book recommendations click here.


More about Dan Levy and More Space For Light


About the Future Of Now series

Our goal at More Space For Light with the Future of Now (FON) series is to build a community of like-minded passionate professionals. Initially, this series was created as a small in-person gathering to provide a knowledge share for our and our event sponsors community of clients and partners. However, by switching our operations to remote it has allowed us to raise the bar, and include our global network.

Our vision is the same, regardless of the potential scale of remote FON events. We intend to bring together like-minded professionals to share, inspire, and explore new opportunities for growth. So you can discover new ways of working to bring back into your organisation.

If you wish to connect with the broader community and join the ever-growing FON community on LinkedIn click here.


More about the organisations connected to this event

  • morespaceforlight.com.au – A strategy and innovation consultancy specialising in both in-person and/or remote workshops, design programs and Design Sprints.
  • MURAL.COheaps of new templates and tools. Sign up it is brilliant.
  • spacesworks.com – globally located co-working spaces.
  • hacker.exchange – a global education company that is supercharging the next generation of startups & leaders.
back to top