Project: Custom workshops for all-company retreat
Location: San Francisco, CA and Colorado Springs, CO
GitHub, headquartered in San Francisco, builds tools that make collaborating and writing software easier. Over 31 million people use GitHub to build software across 100 million repositories.
With over 50% of staff working remotely from 18 countries across the globe, GitHub functions as a mostly remote company. Once per year, the entire company comes together to share ideas and challenges, inspire each other, and celebrate successes. For this event, called GitHub Summit, the company flies all staff to a company offsite meeting and retreat for several days.
This event is crucial to the company’s success, and the time that employees spend in sessions and with each other is high-stakes and critical not only to employees’ personal and professional development, but to the company as it grows.
GitHub engaged Designing Insights to develop and facilitate a half-dozen workshops ranging in length from 45 to 90 minutes. We worked closely with the GitHub Summit team to design and develop custom sessions that were engaging, high-energy, informative, and practical. Our hand-picked team of facilitators were experts in design thinking, applied improvisation, executive coaching, and organizational change.
Our curated menu of sessions included the following trainings: Brainstorming and Creative Ideation Methods; Design Thinking Crash Course; Customer Interview Techniques; Improvisation Games for Collaboration; and Storytelling for Success.
In the Brainstorming and Creative Ideation Methods workshop, we led participants through solo and group ideation techniques that build team energy and inspiration, promote generative thinking, and lead to breakthrough ideas. We introduced various methods for generating ideas, including team warm-ups and solo activities for introverts.
In Improvisation Games for Collaboration, we explored how improv training fosters team building and creative thinking. With its emphasis on working collaboratively with others, being in the moment, active listening, and celebrating failure, the mindsets and rules of improv build strong, collaborative teams.
We trained over 200 GitHub staff from departments including Engineering, Support, Sales, Product, and Human Resources. 88% of Participants rated the sessions as “Excellent,” and the biggest complaint we heard was that the sessions were too short.
All of our workshops were at capacity, and met GitHub’s goals of building soft skills necessary for personal and professional development and promoting cross-pollination across roles and teams.