Get stuck into the discussion
“The projector doesn’t work!!!” My colleague Paul Sutcliffe and I had just arrived at Liverpool ONE to deliver an energy management strategy workshop and we were setting up. Concern, led to frustration – mostly on my part (I had spent a significant amount of time working on the materials). Then attendees started arriving.
Our brief for the day was to hold an energy workshop with staff at Liverpool ONE – each attendee represented different departments. This was to act as a starting point for roll out of an energy strategy.
We had to make a call. Delay things whilst we sorted technology out or get stuck into discussions around an interesting subject with a group of truly engaged people. We chose the latter – and what a choice!
Slides were put up on laptop screens, as background information, and attendees would periodically refer to slide packs for information throughout the sessions (so my preparation time was not wasted).
One of the first questions posed to the workshop attendees was a simple “Why Bother?”. A challenging and somewhat risky ice breaker, but responses flowed with many reasons suggested – It was apparent, from the start, that this was a topic close to team member’s hearts!
Identify barriers and opportunities
The lack of a formal presentation at the front of the room acted to open up the workshop. We ran a series of facilitated discussions that picked through issues and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. This led to some great results. As a group we:
- Identified and documented real opportunities to improve energy management across the whole leisure and retail estate (including technological, operational and behavioural aspects) – issues that will now be progressed
- Agreed on the need for granular level energy data across the estate
- Highlighted the barriers faced which need to be overcome in order to succeed
- Agreed that a structured management system approach was necessary
Liverpool ONE has already made significant progress when it comes to environmental and energy management (the centre is ISO 14001 certified and has already installed a large solar photo voltaic array). However, commitment and engagement to take energy management forward was clear.
Know your subject and prepare well!
The workshop was enjoyable, engaging, successful and benefitted everyone – the attendees and consultants. The information collected will be used to formulate and further develop Liverpool ONE’s energy strategy.
However, we must always keep learning as consultants. At EVORA we have been working on our presentations for a long time now always work to avoid ‘death by PowerPoint’ but the Liverpool ONE session really brought this home. Some take-aways from me as a consultant:
- Know your subject
- Prepare well
- Use slides to augment discussion – ask yourself ‘do they add value?’
And, don’t trust technology!