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1, 2, 4, ALL!

With this facilitated 1, 2, 4, ALL technique, you can immediately include everyone regardless of how large the group is. You can generate better ideas and more of them faster than ever before. You can tap the know-how and imagination that is distributed widely in places not known in advance. Open, generative conversation unfolds. Ideas and solutions are sifted in rapid fashion. Most importantly, participants own the ideas, so follow-up and implementation is simplified. No buy-in strategies needed! Simple and elegant!

  1. Step 1:

    Silent self-reflection by individuals on a shared challenge, framed as a question (e.g., What opportunities do YOU see for making progress on this challenge? How would you handle this situation? What ideas or actions do you recommend?) 1 minute

  2. Step 2:

    Generate ideas in pairs, building on ideas from self-reflection. 2 minutes

  3. Step 3:

    Share and develop ideas from your pair in foursomes (notice similarities and differences). 4 minutes

  4. Step 4:

    Ask, “What is one idea that stood out in your conversation?” Each group shares one important idea with all (repeat cycle as needed). 5 minutes

  5. Step 5:

    Facilitator Tips: Here are some options you might work into your session:

    • Firmly facilitate quiet self-reflection before paired conversations
    • Ask everyone to jot down their ideas during the silent reflection
    • Use bells for announcing transitions
    • Stick to precise timing, do another round if needed
    • In a large group during “All,” limit the number of shared ideas to three or four
    • In a large group, use a facilitator or harvester to record output not shared
    • Invite each group to share one insight but not to repeat insights already shared
    • Separate and protect generation of ideas from the whole group discussion
    • Defer judgment; make ideas visual; go wild!
    • When you hit a plateau, jump to another form of expression (e.g., Improv, sketching, stories)
    • Maintain the rule of one conversation at a time in the whole group
    • Do a second round if you did not go deep enough!