We designed and facilitated a series of workshops with the team at National Health Service Education for Scotland. These were concentrating on developing new solutions and methods of embedding effective Knowledge Management into their roles in Healthcare and Social Services.

Snook were brought into the team to aid in the creation of visual materials for a series of planned workshops. Our ability to illustrate intangible ideas was of great benefit as the organisers were considering how best to gather people from different backgrounds to create ideas together.


Our approach was to get to grips with what Knowledge Management is, how it can be used efficiently and then using this to structure a series of workshops that would help individuals and organisations from Healthcare and Social Services across Scotland. Snook’s first workshop centred on people’s perceptions of what Knowledge Management is; and how their individual organisations could best use it to their advantage. We encouraged these discussions by asking workshop participants to bring along an object that they thought represented Knowledge Management within their organisation. The collection of objects was fantastically eye-opening; ranging from fibre optics, a train, a family tree, knitting patterns, wool and needles, Yoda, a rain stick and old, worn, wooden sculptures.


A starting activity asked everyone to identify something that they held knowledge on, we opened up the floor and asked them to begin trading. Soon we had discovered who made the best lemon cheesecake, who could ride a horse and even reunited old school friends!

By breaking our participants first into organisations, we divided our warmed-up participants into smaller groups and asked them to focus on the Knowledge requirements, responsibilities and missing links of a particular persona. These personas had been pre-prepared with the help of NES, and centred on the 9 branches of organisations present.


Having identified opportunities for improved service and systems, as well as what these individuals can contribute to their Knowledge Management systems presently our teams then took their personas into a journey map. Prepared by Snook, this journey map illustrated a particular service user journey (plus the involvement of family members) through Healthcare and on to Social Services. It was quite lengthy and multi-faceted but not unlikely. Our teams were to consider the whole process, but to concentrate the work and influence that their persona could have over a particular section. The variety of personas in the room meant that the workshop as a whole was considering opportunities for change and development across the entire service user journey.

These opportunities were mapped separately and considered against the stakeholders that they would involve – who would need to be influenced, who would need to be involved, what combinations of people would work well, do we need new people?


Our teams worked with these ideas throughout the day to begin to consider ideas, and to target these towards a Dragons Den-style pitch at the end of the day. The teams were pushed hard to deliver future newspaper headings, costs vs. impact, thinking about long term and short term goals as well as producing brief storyboards of their developing ideas. The teams did a fantastic job, the Dragons were incredibly impressed with the scope of both realistic and creative ideas; teams pitching into the future of their organisations, focusing on the needs of their service users and concentrating on immediately ‘fixable’ elements of their organisations.

The workshop participants were pleasantly surprised with the impact that Snook brought to the proceedings, building a fun, lively and creative atmosphere. They engaged well with the tools and templates we provided.



Our second session asked the participants to take a more strategic approach to the creation of solutions for their organisations. Participants were asked to come to the workshop with an idea for an aim to work towards; the purpose of the workshop was to lead them through a series of activities that would help to define this aim and then identify a route to take to begin to tackle the issues.

Workshop 2 was designed to help individuals focus their strategic goals on the frontline staff, by highlighting the personas used in the past and also encouraging the participants to identify real-life personas working within the scope of their idea. Our participants plotted a new storyboard, highlighting where changes were needed; building on top of existing practices to create a more 3-dimensional system.

Snook wanted there to be a real feeling of sharing, exchanging and trading knowledge at the event, and so we designed the Knowledge Marketplace; a chance for all participating teams to put on show their ‘wares’ – their issues, and for all participants to mingle and exchange ideas on how to tackle issues both through experiences that they have had in real life, and through ideas that they have picked up/discussed throughout the day.


These ideas would be continued on into session 3. Snook wanted to create a more tangible link between the different sessions to keep participants thinking about their ideas, keep them reflecting and ticking over. We wanted session three to be the ‘feature film’ to session two’s ‘trailer’.

This trailer adopted the 5 stage Boom, Wow, Wow, Wow, Boom Dramatic Arc adapted from theatre productions to capture an audiences’ attention with a name and punch strap-line, give them a brief synopsis of the story (service user journey), introduce the main characters (personas and stakeholders) and the producers (who have made it work.)


This activity not only linked session 2 with 3, it ended the day on a high – a buzz of creativity as participants swapped ideas for theme tunes and supporting actors. Participants were eager to see what the next session would bring, and to get started on exploring and expanding their ideas.