Instead of talking about values that are underlying of the organizations' employees are encouraged to show these values as pictures from magazines. This way it is easier to show, tell and understand perceptions.
To understand employee perception of the values that underly an organization, an initiative, a system-wide change, or any other topic.
Before the meeting, decide the topic around which you want players to share stories. Set-up a flat surface area in which you can write and they can post their images. Write the name of the topic in this area.
- Provide the players with tape and several magazines of all genres—enough magazines for each player to rifle through three or four.
- Tell the players that the goal of the exercise is twofold: First, they’ll describe in pictures what they perceive to be the values underlying the topic. Second, they’ll share a work-related story that’s indicative of those values. (Example: an image of a turtle may represent patience and longevity, so the player may share an anecdote in which an attractive but high-risk project was not pursued.)
- Give everyone 10 minutes to cut out one or more images that represent their perception of the underlying values.
- Ask them to tape their image(s) in the designated area and then quietly reflect on a story associated with the value(s) they represented.
- Ask for volunteers to take turns sharing both their images and their associated story.
- Pay attention as the players describe the values they perceive and write them in the space beside the appropriate image.
- Go over the values you captured and ask the players to look for overlaps and gaps in their perception. Ask follow-up questions about the content and stories to generate further conversation. Let the group absorb and discuss the perceptions they share as well as those they don’t.
Note: As the group lead, realize that some players will think immediately of a value representing a topic and go hunting through the magazines until they find a suitable representation. Others will surf the images, looking for something that resonates with a vague notion they have in their minds. Either approach is suitable and you can discuss these approaches when you set up the play.
Most importantly when you introduce the game, encourage people to share the values they perceive as honestly as they can.
Finally, let people be creative with the storytelling section of the play. If two or more participants want to share a story together, encourage them to do so.