Library of facilitation techniques

Teamwork Activities and Games

Facilitation techniques and activities to support team work and create better aligned and more effective teams. Foster trust and openness, improve collaboration and manage team dynamics effectively with over 150 activities to improve team work.
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Liberating Structures

What I Need From You (WINFY)

People working in different functions and disciplines can quickly improve how they ask each other for what they need to be successful. You can mend misunderstandings or dissolve prejudices developed over time by demystifying what group members need in order to achieve common goals. Since participants articulate core needs to others and each person involved in the exchange is given the chance to respond, you boost clarity, integrity, and transparency while promoting cohesion and coordination across silos: you can put Humpty Dumpty back together again!

Liberating Structures

Generative Relationships STAR

You can help a group of people understand how they work together and identify changes that they can make to improve group performance. All members of the group diagnose current relationship patterns and decide how to follow up with action steps together, without intermediaries. The STAR compass tool helps group members understand what makes their relationships more or less generative. The compass used in the initial diagnosis can also be used later to evaluate progress in developing relationships that are more generative.

Liberating Structures

Improv Prototyping

You can engage a group to learn and improve rapidly from tapping three levels of knowledge simultaneously: (1) explicit knowledge shared by participants; (2) tacit knowledge discovered through observing each other’s performance; and (3) latent knowledge, i.e., new ideas that emerge and are jointly developed. 

This powerful combination can be the source of transformative experiences and, at the same time, it is seriously fun. Participants identify and act out solutions to chronic or daunting problems. A diverse mix of people is invited to dramatize simple elements that work to solve a problem. Innovations represented in the Improv sketches are assembled incrementally from pieces or chunks that can be used separately or together. It is a playful way to get very serious work done!

Liberating Structures

Social Network Webbing

Social Network Webbing quickly illuminates for a whole group what resources are hidden within their existing network of relationships and what steps to take for tapping those resources. It also makes it easy to identify opportunities for building stronger connections as well as new ones. 

The inclusive approach makes the network visible and understandable to everybody in the group simultaneously. It encourages individuals to take the initiative for building a stronger network rather than receiving directions through top-down assignments. Informal or loose connections—even your friends’ friends—are tapped in a way that can have a powerful influence on progress without detailed planning and big investments.

Liberating Structures

Design StoryBoards - Advanced

You can avoid many of the traps that turn transformation initiatives and innovation projects into failures: the lack of a clear and common purpose, overall and for every stage of the initiative; inadequate engagement and participation; voices that are essential but not included; frustrated participants and nonparticipants; resistance to change; groupthink; nightmarish implementation for a disproportionally small impact.

A comprehensive design is a series of basic designs (see Design StoryBoards–Basic) linked together over a period of time. The design unfolds iteratively over days, weeks, months, or sometimes years depending on the scale of the project. Small cycles of design operate within larger cycles, scaling up and out as the initiative proceeds. You can easily include more people and more diversity in the design group for larger-scale projects. You can reflect the twists and turns in a transformation or innovation effort by a careful and ad hoc selection of participants (including unusual suspects since they are often the source of novel approaches).

Liberating Structures

Design StoryBoards – Basic

The most common causes of dysfunctional meetings can be eliminated: unclear purpose or lack of a common one, time wasters, restrictive participation, absent voices, groupthink, and frustrated participants. The process of designing a storyboard draws out a purpose that becomes clearer as it is matched with congruent microstructures. It reveals who needs to be included for successful implementation. Storyboards invite design participants to carefully define all the micro-organizing elements needed to achieve their purpose: a structuring invitation, space, materials, participation, group configurations, and facilitation and time allocations. Storyboards prevent people from starting and running meetings without an explicit design. Good designs yield better-than-expected results by uncovering tacit and latent sources of innovation.

Liberating Structures

Shift and Share

You can quickly and effectively share several innovations or useful programs that may lie hidden within a group, organization, or community. Shift & Share gets rid of long large-group presentations and replaces them with several concise descriptions made simultaneously to multiple small groups. A few individuals set up “stations” where they share in ten minutes the essence of their innovations that may be of value to others. As small groups move from one innovator’s station to another, their size makes it easy for people to connect with the innovator. They can quickly learn where and how new ideas are being used and how they might be adapted to their own situations. Innovators learn from the repetition, and groups can easily spot opportunities for creative mash-ups of ideas.

Hyper Island

Appreciative Inquiry: Root Causes of Success

What made success possible? In less than one hour, a group of any size can generate the list of conditions that are essential for its success. You can liberate spontaneous momentum and insights for positive change from within the organization as “hidden” success stories are revealed. Positive movement is sparked by the search for what works now and by uncovering the root causes that make success possible.

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