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About Pip Decks

Charles Burdett

I'm Charles Burdett - Designer & Founder of Pip Decks. 

I used to work as a user experience designer - I helped make stuff easy for you to use.

Like ATMs. You don’t need an instruction manual to know how to get cash out. You only need to think about how much money you need.

What makes it so easy? ATMs show you exactly what to do at the exact time you need to know - so you never need to learn how to use them.

This is good design. The sort of design I strived for. Invisible and frictionless.

But good design is not a solo effort. I didn’t sit in a corner creating designs on my own. I worked collaboratively with other people. And that's hard!

And harder still, sometimes we had to bring voices from around the company together.

This meant having meetings. Countless boring meetings. Held hostage by someone droning on about something that could’ve been an email.

“When is this going to end?!” I’d scream inside my head. It was draining.

So when I had a chance to run one of these meetings, I wanted to make it fun and engaging.

I wasn’t going to take any hostages. I didn’t want people wishing my meeting would end!

But I had a secret up my sleeve.

In my previous job, I had a friend called Tom who ran amazing meetings. It was like being in a theatre production. Everyone had a part to play and it was seamless. Not only was it fun, but we got so much valuable work done too.

Tom made everyone feel valued. Even if we didn’t always agree. He knew that people just wanted to be heard, and he made that happen.

He taught me a secret: the secret power of workshop facilitation.

So instead of holding people hostage in a boring meeting, I ran “workshops”: engaging, fun, and highly productive sessions that actually got stuff done.

Then a funny thing started to happen after my workshops.

People kept asking me:

“How did you do that?”

“How do you know what kind of workshop to run?”

“Can you teach me?”

They could see how valuable a great workshop is. But they didn’t know how to do it themselves.

This was my lightbulb moment.

Workshop Tactics

I put all the most useful and productive workshops into a deck of cards. I called it Workshop Tactics.

And channelling my UX design skills, I created a format and a system that removes all the guff and barriers, and gives you the essentials.

The clarity of Workshop Tactics gives you confidence. Confidence to engage your team when you work together. Knowing you won't be holding people hostage (and no internal screaming either.)

Why is this important?

Because no one wants to run a bad meeting.

When your team is engaged, you’ll get a better end product, no matter what you are working on.

And anyone can run a great meeting. There is no more wondrous thing than getting into the flow and leaving people feeling empowered. It just takes having the right tools to hand, and the willingness to give it a go.

The crazy thing about Workshop Tactics

It’s now sold tens of thousands of copies all around the globe.

To consultants, managers, professors and doctors. Designers, engineers, managers and CEOs.

It’s trusted by folks at the BBC, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Apple, Meta, Stanford University, and Lockheed Martin. The list is endless. Read why our customers love us.

So what was a little side project has now grown. The Pip Decks library is expanding to help others publish their own Pip Decks in this unique format.

Thanks for stopping by and for listening to my story. 

Pick up a deck and let me know what you think. We're always looking at how we can improve our products!

— Charles Burdett

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Charles with his son, Hughie.

Charles and his son, Hughie.