IAF Methods

Detachment Game

by for . Last edit was about 2 years ago
3 - 6 11 - 25

Experiential game of detachment for change agents

DRAFT Pending Declined
Submit for approval

Additional info


To begin the discussion of how to sustain oneself as a change agent and to experience the dynamics of being detached from things.


You will be able to upload attachments once after you create the method.


  • none





We want to play a kind of game. We have all be assigned to set up a postal system in a newly developing country. We will be going for a year.

1. I would like you to list the 10 most important things you would take on this trip.

2. We have just received word that we have to limit the amount of our luggage so we can only take 5 things. Draw a line through the things you would leave out of your list of 10.

3. Again we are told we are taking too much. We can only take two things. Check the three things you will leave behind from your list of 5.

4. We can now only take one thing. Put a circle around that one thing.

Reflection on Process:

1. I would like us to reflect about this process. What were some of the things on your list of 10?

2. When you had to take 5 of these away what criteria did you use to decide what to leave out?

3. When you had to only choose one what happened to you?

4. When in your work has some similar experience happened?

5. What happens to a person who has to go through this kind of experience?

6. We often have to leave things other than objects behind.  What are some things that you have had to leave behind?

7. How do you deal with having to leave things behind?


One of the important aspect of being an agent of change is having some detachment from things, ideas and relationships and it is important to find ways of sustaining ourselves when this happens.


Follow-Up Required: none

Usual or Expected Outcomes: surprises about how attached people are to things.

Potential pitfalls: Resistance to change


Source: Institute of Cultural Affairs

Derived from: There are many variations on this game including Peter Senge's in his 5th Discipline Field Book.

Recognizable components: instructions, activity, reflection

References: instructions, activity, reflection

Comments (0) (  avg / 0 ratings)

Please Log in or Register for FREE SessionLab account to be able to comment or rate.