Solution Focus: the solution-focused retrospective workshop
With the Solution Focus method, conduct a solution-focused retrospective as a team.
Rodrigo Albuquerque is based in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and works as an audit partner at Mazars, in the Brazilian Audit team. Rodrigo’s goal is to understand his client’s businesses, and then provide them with appropriate audit services, as well as training for the team. During the pandemic, Mazars went fully remote, and had to find tools to help them adapt the way they work.
When the pandemic hit, like most people, Rodrigo had to rethink the way he worked. For his team at Mazars, this meant considering how they could continue their team rituals remotely, and ensure that that the team remained in contact and aligned while working from home. Klaxoon is the tool they have chosen to help them in this journey, and Rodrigo liked it so much that he quickly became a Klaxoon ambassador.
As an audit partner, Rodrigo regularly has many different types of meeting, including with new clients. In this case, one of the first things he does is to schedule a client proposal meeting. As the first meeting with the client, this is super important. The aim of this initial meeting is to understand the client’s needs and challenges. During that time, Rodrigo’s goal is to understand how he can best answer the client’s need, and what is really most important to them.
This is a kind of discovery session, so while Rodrigo asks questions and digs down further into the clients’ needs, he takes notes which he can refer back to at a later stage. It’s worth taking the time to have a transcript of the exchange, because after organizing his ideas, Rodrigo shares them with the client to make sure that they are aligned with what he thinks they need and the next steps they’ve agreed upon.
Rodrigo saw that Klaxoon could be great for a number of different uses. For example, retrospectives with the team. He quickly noted that the template library held a whole host of ready-to-use templates to discover.
After checking out the Client Meeting template, Rodrigo decided to use it for his next client proposal meeting.
As always, he has run this meeting remotely and connected with the client using Google Meet. Then, he shared his screen with the ready-to-use Client Meeting template.
To kick start the meeting, Rodrigo asked the client to share with him the challenges he was facing, before trying to understand why he had approached Mazars and what he was hoping to achieve or solve by working together. This is essentially about identifying issues and desired outcomes. Then, Rodrigo asked the client about his company’s background, why they may be considering changing firms to carry out their audit, and other essential information such as their timeline and any other challenges that might impact an audit.
Rodrigo asks questions to make sure he really understands what is the top priority for his clients. This could be price-related, or be based on effectiveness measures. He asks quantitative and qualitative questions in order to get more details. At this stage, his main objective is to better understand the scope of the potential audit, so he can estimate the amount of time and work it will involve.
Next is the decision-making process, which is all about identifying and agreeing on appropriate next steps.
Where does Klaxoon fit into all of this? Rodrigo says it’s very simple, instead of taking notes on a notebook, he takes notes directly in Klaxoon, while sharing his screen. This means the client sees directly what he is writing down. This has the benefit of making the meeting much more interactive, because the client can contribute in real time and make sure that he agrees with what Rodrigo is noting down as the key takeaways from the discussion. Getting this approval early on saves time and is reassuring for potential clients.
For Rodrigo, one of the most important benefits is that note-taking is live. He uses Klaxoon to note down ideas, check whether his client agrees or not and then, at the end of the meeting, everyone has an accurate picture of the state of play.
As a visual tool, Klaxoon promotes creative ways of sharing ideas, and since it can all be done live, there’s usually no need to reorganize ideas after the meeting. This direct input of information makes it super easy to see if there is anything missing, and far easier to spot the most valuable questions to ask. Rodrigo finds that he gets far more details from clients when he shares a Klaxoon screen with them.
The act of sharing a Klaxoon Board with clients has the additional benefit of forcing Rodrigo to be more concise, and it helps him stay objective because he can see the whole picture as he goes.
Finally, Rodrigo says he is saving time, since it’s more likely that the client doesn’t postpone their next meeting and they agree on the next steps along with the following contact there and then while online together.