Client Testimonial: Creating Community Strategy With Care

PUBLISHED ON

September 13, 2022

Catherine Fraher
Director of Services and Digital Health at The Brain Tumour Charity

“We asked Chris Paton and his team at Quirk Solutions for their expert help with a challenging and radical project for us — to co-create our future charity strategy with our community.”

We needed to galvanise a very large roomful of people who had never met before in one high-energy day. The task was to imagine – What if the world was completely different when someone was diagnosed with a brain tumour – and to come up with the really big ideas that could move us forward in giant strides to this future of hope #beyondbraintumours.

An added challenge which Quirk embraced wholeheartedly was to enable this intensive collaboration between very many, very diverse stakeholders. We had people joining in who were personally affected in many different ways by brain tumours, people professionally committed to the cause as researchers, clinicians and even many other charities. They all had different motivations, strong feelings and opinions, different levels of experience of strategy development and creative thinking, different concerns about getting involved in something challenging and potentially suggesting changes in their own work. Quirk also had to enable everyone to participate fully when, for many, brain tumours continue to have a lasting and severe effect on their emotions, energy and physical needs.

One thing Chris and his team excelled at was really listening and eliciting our brief, then working back from our ideal outcome and evolving a whole day-long journey to get there. We were probably demanding clients – asking lots of questions about how well things would work, expressing doubts about whether people would engage with the technology (Mural), and whether the sessions were going to deliver the result we needed. But we never felt anything but positivity and support, with Chris and his team always patient, flexible, thoughtful and reassuring throughout the design process.

So the design of the day was meticulous, but it also flexed to orchestrate the energy across the day like a great music set, steadily building the mood and creativity and belief, keeping the energy and enthusiasm flowing and forging relationships between people who hadn’t ever met before.

 “Our expectations were exceeded – we could not believe the value Quirk was able to help those in the room deliver in such a compressed space of time. One of our guests even closed their feedback with the breath taking conclusion that it was one of the best days of their lives!”

On the day, Quirk, led by Chris, had such calm and reassuring command of the room, and the creative thinking approaches were woven together so perfectly and naturally, that people had space to absorb some challenging ideas and emotional stories, listen to each other and build on one another’s ideas, but still keep to the rapid pace of the agenda.

During the day, everything was captured, in wonderful hands-on creative sessions with teams building market stalls to exchange their big ideas with others, and in an enormous but simple record of every step of the journey in a Mural board, culminating in an impressive ‘hive mind’ synthesis of the biggest of the day’s big ideas for everyone to take away. All the participants left on a high, with a sense of esprit de corps and common purpose, not only believing that change was possible but that they would play a part in bringing it about.

As a charity we think what Quirk do is truly transformational and we hope the Quirk team know just how grateful we are for their support and expertise – we simply couldn’t have got this far this fast without their help. We left our grand workshop day out with a hugely ambitious clear brief as a community to power ahead and make change.

#beyondbraintumours

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