move the room with energizers
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This is a structured process designed for teams to explore the way they work together. The tight structure supports team members to be open and honest in their assessment. After reflecting as individuals, the team builds a collective map which can serve as the basis for further discussions and actions. The assessment is based around 6 dimensions. Each one encouraging the team to reflect and analyse a different and crucial element of their behaviour.
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Your team is a system. It is complex with multiple and interlocking parts. We like to borrow the term Operating System (OS) from the software industry, to denote a complex system that supports people to work (programmes to run) and is improved over time through constant, small iterations.
This workshop is an essential starting point for any team that wants to update its OS and evolve the way it works. Most teams work and grow organically, with little deliberate attention given to designing the working process, exploring interpersonal relations, and challenging traditional notions of hierarchy.
By taking the time to do a self-assessment a team can surface things that are implicit, and make them explicit. Only once they are explicit can a team talk about them and change them.
This workshop uses 6 dimensions to frame the reflection and discussion. Write these on a whiteboard, flipchart paper, or show them on a screen for the team to copy.
Give each team member a sheet of flipchart paper, portrait orientation. Instruct them to draw 5 horizontal lines, splitting it into 6 equal sections and label each section with a dimension.
Now give them 30 minutes to reflect on these dimensions in silence. Individually, they should write down statements that apply to each dimension. These should all complete the sentence:
As a team, we...
Some will likely be positive or celebratory, others will likely be critical or development oriented. Ask members to arrange their statements on the paper, with the most development-oriented on the left and the most celebratory on the right.
This workshop is not about blaming individuals for the team performance. When reflecting and analysing the team we are talking about the team as a whole, as an organism in and of itself.
On a whiteboard or flipchart draw a large version of the 6 sections that they have been working on. The aim of this step is to bring everyone's statements together to see where the team agrees and disagrees on the 6 dimensions.
One-by-one, invite the team members to share 2-3 post-its from each dimension. They should just read out what they have written. No additional explanation or justification is necessary at this point.
Again, they should put the more development-oriented statements to the left, and the more celebratory statements to the right.
The aim of this step is to narrow down the statements and remove any clear duplications.
Invite someone from the team to cluster the statements in silence. When they feel they are finished, ask the group if anyone feels strongly about changing the clusters. If they do, invite them up to make the changes.
Repeat this until nobody objects to the clustering. It may take a few rounds, but eventually you will arrive at a selection of statements that nobody strongly disagrees with. This is a consent-based group decision.
The aim of this step is to see what statements the group feels strongly about. You're going to do that through dot voting.
Give each team member a sheet of small coloured sticky dots. They should all be the same colour, so you can't tell who voted for which statement.
Ask the team members to look at the clustered statements. They should stick a dot on the statements that they think are important to this team. The things they think should be addressed, changed, or celebrated. There is no limit to the amount of dots they can use.
When everyone is finished voting, step back and look at the board / flipchart. The spread, density, and frequency of the dots will give you an immediate sense of what the team thinks is important.
The aim of this final step is to digitise the insights from the workshop and figure out the next steps!
Ask the group for a volunteer to turn what is on the board / flipchart into a digital image. They should take a picture(s) on their phone, and transfer the information onto a collaborative, editable document. Something like a Google Document.
Now is the time for a group discussion. The team should decide what to do with this information. Here are a few suggestions:
Editability and collaboration is key to this document being useful. The information and insights belong to the team. It is now the team's responsibility to make change.
The purpose of this simple exercise is to demonstrate three key principles useful for creativity and idea generation: quantity is a condition for quality; building on the ideas of others; the ideas we come up with are usually all the same. The format is simple, with small groups standing and drawing apples. At the end of the exercise the whole group reflects and draws out learnings and reflections.
IDOARRT is a simple tool to support you to lead an effective meeting or group process by setting out clear purpose, structure and goals at the very beginning. It aims to enable all participants to understand every aspect of the meeting or process, which creates the security of a common ground to start from. The acronym stands for Intention, Desired Outcome, Agenda, Rules, Roles and Responsibilities and Time.
A short activity to run early in a program, focused on sharing fears, anxieties and uncertainties related to the program theme. The purpose is to create openness within a group. The stinky fish is a metaphor for "that thing that you carry around but don’t like to talk about; but the longer you hide it, the stinkier it gets." By putting stinky fish (fears and anxieties) on the table, participants begin to relate to each other, become more comfortable sharing, and identify a clear area for development and learning.
A team-building activity in which a group is challenged to physically support one another in an endeavor to move from one end of a space to another. It requires working together creatively and strategically in order to solve a practical, physical problem. It tends to emphasize group communication, cooperation, leadership and membership, patience and problem-solving.
This workshop aims to help participants define, decide and achieve their goals. By supporting participants to envision where they want to be in a number of years on a holistic level, and defining the steps that will take them there, participants get a clearer picture of the action they need to take.
This exercise is useful for bringing groups together, to create interpersonal bonds, and to build trust. Participants stand opposite each other and have 30 seconds to give appreciative feedback to the other person. The group rotates until everyone has given feedback to everyone else. It is often used as part of wrap-up activities, to create an energized feeling to leave with.