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The Workshop Book

MD Pam Hamilton is the author of The Workshop Book launched globally in 2016, reaching number 5 in the WH Smith Business charts in 2016.

The Workshop Book cover

no:5 WHSmith bestseller!

The Workshop Book in WHSmiths

Behind the book

Meet the author

I first learned about workshops in early 2000 when I was a junior insights manager at Unilever. I went on a creative problem-solving course that gave me my first workshop experience, and it inspired me to learn more.

I have been designing and leading workshops for 15 years since. I have run thousands of workshops all over the world about laundry, diamonds, deodorants, ice cream, stock cubes, TV, hand bags, home insurance, computer systems to name a few.

I've worked with teenagers, older people, VIPs, scientists, artists and experts and I’ve led workshops for 3 people to 600 people. I was MD of Research International’s Innovation Bureau, Head of Creative Development at ITV Imagine, before founding Workshop Cookbook.

I’m still curious about how why workshops work, and continue to read Psychology, Neuroscience and collective intelligence research to keep us working better together. I believe the need for workshops is more important now than ever before.

Pamela Hamilton


  • About the author
  • Acknowledgements
  • What this book will do for you
  1. An introduction to workshops
  2. The workshop approach
  3. Setting the workshop objective
  4. Who to invite to your workshop
  5. Priming the workshop participants
  6. The workshop set-up
  7. The workshop leader
  8. Workshop behaviours
  9. Managing difficult behaviours
  10. The workshop energy
  11. Basic workshop tools
  12. Creating quick ideas
  13. Creating ideas that build on past successes
  14. Improving existing ideas
  15. Creating new directions
  1. Creating a new story about something old
  2. How to create new names
  3. Customer needs workshops
  4. Roadmaps
  5. Alignment
  6. Action planning
  7. Defining purpose
  8. Working better together
  9. Influencing senior leadership positively
  10. Positive turnaround
  11. Team updates
  12. Team building
  13. Regular team meetings
  14. Review workshops
  15. Debrief workshops
  16. Virtual workshops
  17. Multilingual workshops
  18. Workshop outputs
  • Tools list
  • References
  • Index


'This book should be in every facilitator’s toolkit. It fits perfectly with Pret’s learning culture, simple and effective.’

Ian Watson – Group Head of Pret Academy, Pret a Manger

‘This is a fantastic, insightful, one-stop shop for running workshops. It combines the theory and practical insights perfectly. A book I will constantly be using.’

Fran Merrylees HR Director Online, Pay and Interactive at ITV

'If you’re responsible for the creative health of your organisation, then you better get your hands on this book. Better yet, commit it to heart. And practice, practice, practice all the techniques. It’ll lead to more productive workshops, it’ll yield more dynamic and engaging ideas, and it’ll promote the importance of creativity with your company!'

Pele Cortizo-Burgess, Global Chief Creative Officer MEC, and President L’Equipe L’Oréal

• ‘An essential book for those working in higher education; an excellent resource for managers, lecturers and students alike. It is well researched and packed full of practical tips and examples of good and bad practice, and will turn those wasted meetings into productive and creative workshops. This will become the ‘go to’ book for anyone in higher education planning a workshop.’

Dr Deborah Shaw, Reader in Film Studies at the University of Portsmouth

‘An outstanding how-to manual that is packed with expert digestible tips – highly recommended’

Alex Mahon, CEO, The Foundry

‘Pamela Hamilton has years of hard-earned experience on what makes workshops work – and fail. An essential primer for anyone trying to brainstorm ideas and concepts, and for getting the best out of teams.’

Ben Page, Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI

'The Workshop Book is wonderfully practical, full of sensible suggestions, tips and hints of how to run successful workshops. It is a book that you will use again and again. The author’s personal stories also add an empathetic touch.’

Jennifer Whyte, Global CMI Director, Unilever