Often cards in a column on a wall are not polished enough documentation to finish the result the group needs.
It is easy and fun for a group to write prose statements from the cards, perhaps a sentence for each column.
Provide a template for the prose. Usually it includes a line for the name of the column (which is an answer to the focus question), then uses key words from the cards as elements of the name to form another sentence. You may include another sentence, such as “This is important because….”, which gives the writing team a chance to add some of their own insights from the group discussion to the data from the cards.
Sample Template for a Vision Workshop:
One aspect of our Vision is ____________ (column name).
This includes _________________________ (words from the cards).
This is important because ____________________.
Each column is assigned to a small team to do the writing by filling out the template. The “name” is the column name, one answer to the focus question. When they include the elements from the cards, they need to be as inclusive as possible of the different ideas, and use the language on the cards as much as possible.
They may read the statements out loud to others in the group.
To polish the statements to create a finished document, each page is then passed to a new group. The second group writes a creative sentence or short paragraph that holds the name of the column and the key insights from the cards in the column.
The two versions of the prose are stapled together, and passed on to a third group. This group merges the first two versions, being careful to honour the first two versions without skewing the results to their own bias.
The final results are read out to the whole group, and then collected, collated, and written into a single document.
In this way, a polished document can be written in a matter of an hour or so. Interestingly, most times the process creates a final document which has a consistent writing style for all the paragraphs.
You can also use this process to write a paragraph for each column. or even chapters for a report.