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Liberating Structures Henri Lipmanowicz Keith McCandless. Plexus Institute, 2009. 15. Smart Network Mapping 16. Generative Relationships 17. Purpose-To-Practice Design 18. Scenario Planning Critical Uncertainties 19. Impromptu Speed Networking 20. 1-2-4-Whole Group 21. Troika Consulting

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Liberating structures henri lipmanowicz keith mccandless l.jpg
Liberating StructuresHenri LipmanowiczKeith McCandless

Plexus Institute, 2009


Our inventory of useful methods which of these methods are familiar to you one point for each l.jpg

15. Smart Network Mapping

16. Generative Relationships

17. Purpose-To-Practice Design

18. Scenario Planning Critical Uncertainties

19. Impromptu Speed Networking

20. 1-2-4-Whole Group

21. Troika Consulting

22. Fishbowl Sessions – “What I Need From You”

23. Celebrity Interview

24. 5 Whys & 10 Hows

25. Storyboarding Agendas

26. Positive Deviance

Appreciative Interviews

Agreement / Uncertainty Matrix

Creative Destruction via TRIZ

Wicked Questions

Min Specs

Chunking via Rapid Prototyping

Improv

15% Solutions

Open Space Technology

Ecocycle Sifting & Gathering

Panarchy: Cross-Scale Change

Conversation Café Dialogue

Discovery & Action Dialogue

Wise Crowds Group Consultation

Our inventory of useful methods. Which of these methods are familiar to you? One point for each:

YOUR TOTAL SCORE IS: _____?


Question 1 l.jpg
Question 1

How long have you used complexity-inspired methods -- such as the approaches in the last slide -- in your organization or consulting work?

> 10 years

3-10 years

1-3 years -

in the last year

not started yet


The story we tell in airplanes in one week we can have a transforming impact on an organization l.jpg
The Story We Tell in Airplanes“In one week we can have a transforming impact on an organization!!!”


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Power in Combining Elements!

A mix of top, middle & front line participants (+ customers)

Invitation to try many simple methods to your challenges immediately

Immersion in a large # of simple self-organizing methods

Focus on complex

challenges that require

diverse participation to

make progress

One on one coaching

to launch immediate

use in local context

Rapid cycles jointly shaping solutions & insights in-the-moment


Slide6 l.jpg

In organizations,patterns and results emerge from how people interactwith each other and affect each other’s behaviors and ideas. ~ Simultaneous mutual shaping at play~

Hope has never trickled down. It has always sprung up.


New option to affect a system l.jpg
New Option to Affect a System

Liberating

Structures

Culture eats strategy for lunch

Same people

Same structure

Same incentives

Change processes & patterns of relating


Purpose liberating structures l.jpg
PurposeLiberating Structures

Stimulate and unleash

innovation and productivity

at all levels

by using and inventing new ways

of working together

and interacting with

peers, clients, students,

and community members.


The story we tell in airplanes in one week we can have a transforming impact on an organization9 l.jpg
The Story We Tell in Airplanes“in one week we can have a transforming impact on an organization!!!”

How? With a LS Workshop:

  • Up to 120 participants, all levels

  • 20 to 25 LS

  • 2-3 days

  • 2 days 1-on-1 coaching

    How we start the LS workshop:

  • Impromptu Speed Networking (15 minutes)

  • Appreciative Interview (45 minutes)


Slide10 l.jpg

Impromptu, Speed NetworkingPower of loose connections, small things can make a big difference


Slide11 l.jpg

What is YOUR

biggest challenge

right now?

What do you

hope to get from

and contribute to

the workshop?

Find a partner…3-5 minutes sharing…

Then find another partner… then find another.

I have no idea what will happen here!

Better ways to address chronic problems

I want to bust the silos

How to maintain momentum in a rough downturn

How to move from product to customer focus

Our customers think we don’t care

The frontline resists all change

The merger!

I have a new team


Why start this way what did you notice l.jpg
Why start this way? What did you notice?

Liberates energy (no speech…)

Invites deeper engagement with a provocative or profound question

Repetition deepens stories

Listening quickly connects people

Loose connections can be powerful

Little things can make a big difference


Brainstorm l.jpg
Brainstorm

Where and how could you use

Impromptu Speed Networking:

In Meetings?

Events?


Why liberating structures l.jpg
Why “Liberating Structures”?

Structure/Control

Minimum

Liberation/Freedom

Maximum


Slide15 l.jpg

Appreciative InterviewsCreating Momentum by Building On and Designing With “What Works Right Now”

Find a partner you don’t know

well and share a story about a fabulous personal achievement…

(re a complex challenge)


Insights l.jpg
Insights

  • Building on what works with an appreciative approach (people are attracted to light!)

  • Storytelling versus PowerPoint

  • Pairs, then Quartets

  • Retelling and listening

  • Recognizing patterns

  • Collecting Whole Group wisdom

  • When you repeat appreciative interviews in rapid cycles it can draw out more discovery & knowledge for innovation


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1-2-4-Whole GroupProgressive, Rapid Cycle Conversation

  • Self-Reflection (no talking)

  • Pairs

  • Small Groups

  • Whole group


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Brainstorm

Where and how can you use

Appreciative Interviews

Or 1-2-4-Whole group


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Liberating Structures Defined

Processes and methods

that make it easy and quick

for groups of people

to liberate their energy,

tap into their collective intelligence,

be creative, adaptable,

build on each other’s ideas,

and get results


Question 2 l.jpg
Question 2

What is the degree to which your organization or your clients rely on the following practices to address complex challenges:

Importing “evidence-based” best practices

Driving change & buy-in strategies

Extensive training or more personal development

never

rarely

not sure

frequently

always


Are you also experiencing these challenges l.jpg
Are You Also ExperiencingThese Challenges?

  • Imported best practices spreading poorly or not at all in local settings

  • Buy-in which can't be achieved without painful, often futile arm-twisting (after the initial hoopla & charismatic messaging fade away)

  • Expensive efforts to train or educate people that fail to change behavior (or show only modest results)


Diagnosis l.jpg
Diagnosis

These are classic symptoms of ineffective or neglected methods for unleashing social invention.

For a large class of challenges, selecting whom to include and how they are best engaged in addressing the problem-at-hand is critical but overlooked. Technical mastery overshadows the subtle power of local wisdom in crowds.


Problems opportunities awareness iceberg l.jpg
Problems & OpportunitiesAwareness Iceberg

4% known to

top leaders

9% known to

middle managers

74% known to

supervisors

100% known to

the front line &

customers

Action unleashed @ the front line

Adapted from study conducted by Sidney Yoshida,

initially presented at the International Quality Symposium


Solution l.jpg
Solution

Engaging more people at multiple levels, earlier and more strategically, can dramatically boost capacity for solutions that generate spectacular and unexpected results. Methods that shift patterns of interaction are most helpful.

Simple approaches like Liberating Structures will help you and others discover for themselves more productive and innovative solutions.


Question 3 l.jpg
Question 3

In your direct experience, is your organization getting better at using complexity-inspired methods to address complex challenges?

yes, definitely getting better organization-wide

making progress in pockets

getting worse, not better

no change

not sure


Question 4 l.jpg
Question 4

For participants with direct experience, what is your self-assessment of how complexity methods are spreading across your organization (top-to-bottom-to-clients)?

Active, fully distributed spread

Active use in units and pockets

Active use by champions within pockets

Isolated use only when facilitated by experts

Very limited or no spread


Early design flaws failing forward in spreading complexity inspired methods l.jpg

Design Attributes

Science- and concept-based learning sessions focusing on scientific advances & principles

Learning sessions in far-away places with homogenous groups (e.g., leaders, trainers, change agents)

Expert facilitation using one or two methods to address a single complex challenge

Hard Lessons

Only a few people really cared and this did not prepare them to take action in local settings

We assumed individuals could effectively share and spread methods “back home”

This seemed to create “facilitator dependence.” Plus, only so much progress can be made in an offsite session.

Early Design Flaws - Failing ForwardIn Spreading Complexity-Inspired Methods


Liberating structures workshop l.jpg
Liberating Structures Workshop

  • 25+ different methods

  • Single organization: all layers together, top to bottom

  • Community with shared interests

  • Ideal 2.5 days + 2 days of coaching sessions

  • Experiential, “try it NOW”

  • Intense, rapid cycles

  • Fun, Seriously!

  • Complexity Theory – little or none, adjustable to interests

  • Focus on real challenges, mundane and sublime


Learning approach l.jpg
Learning Approach

Experiential learning with a minimal amount of “telling” and a maximum of self-discovery

Methods are introduced and woven into interactions around key challenges selected by participants

We draw out and build on the direct experience of you and everyone in the room

We search for the minimum structure to liberate the maximum innovation


Liberating structures an expanding adaptable mash up of open source methods l.jpg

Appreciative Interviews

Agreement / Uncertainty Matrix

Creative Destruction via TRIZ

Wicked Questions

Min Spec s

Chunking via Rapid Prototyping

Improv

15% Solutions

Open Space Technology

Ecocycle Sifting & Gathering

Panarchy: Cross-Scale Change

Conversation Café Dialogue

Discovery & Action Dialogue

Wise Crowds Group Consultation

15. Smart Network Mapping

16. Generative Relationships

17. Purpose-To-Practice Design

18. Scenario Planning Critical Uncertainties

19. Impromptu Speed Networking

20. 1-2-4-Whole Group

21. Troika Consulting

22. Fishbowl Sessions – “What I Need From You”

23. Celebrity Interview

24. 5 Whys & 10 Hows

25. Storyboarding Agendas

26. Positive Deviance

Liberating StructuresAn expanding, adaptable mash-up of open source methods

We search for the minimum structure to liberate the maximum innovation



Attributes of ls methods what other methods come to mind l.jpg

Simple & fast to learn

Requires very little explanation or theory

Draws out insight from interaction

Works with groups, units, or the whole organization

Focuses attention on relationship patterns

Minimally structured for maximum liberation

Generates surprises & novelty without central control (light coordination only)

Invites seriously-playful participation

Appeals to people in diverse roles

Generates very short- and long-term results

Illuminates an edge or paradoxical territory

Identifies and builds on assets that exist now

Invites inclusion & more diverse voices

Works with internal and external customers

Attributes of LS MethodsWhat Other Methods Come To Mind?


What else what other methods fit with liberating structures what comes to your mind l.jpg
What Else?What other methods fit with Liberating Structures? What comes to your mind?

  • Use the Chat function to add your ideas.

  • You can control who you send to…

    Go wild!


Faq 1 l.jpg
FAQ #1

Why So Many, So Fast?

  • Every person is likely to find two or three LS they like and want to start using. (A few people will find many)

  • LS are modular. They can be mashed-up and spur new inventions very quickly.

  • Participants see patterns across the LS and gain confidence with experience.

  • Quickly using them demonstrates LS are forgiving. You can get great results without tight fidelity.

  • Rapid cycles show that ideas/answers come from many sources and levels, not all from the top.


Faq 2 l.jpg
FAQ # 2

Why Top & Front Line Together?

  • Complex issues involve multiple functions, levels, & disciplines

  • The front line knows more about the customers’ problems & opportunities

  • Serious progress on tough issues can be made with all parties present

  • Learning together helps launch LS use quickly

  • Confidence builds when everyone starts on an equal footing

  • No waiting for permission

  • Everyone can simultaneously-and-mutually shape innovations as they emerge


Outcomes l.jpg
Outcomes

Forgiving

Practicing

Our Way Into

New Thinking

Wow!

Easy to

Implement,

Spreads Itself

Concrete

Changes

Energy

Unleashed

Creative

Relationship

with Clients

Immediate

Early

Adopters

Early

Successes


Liberating structures in practice l.jpg
Liberating Structures in Practice

Inspired by pioneering work with Plexus in the US. Launched in 2004 and developed in Latin America. Now, migrating to Europe and Asia.


What is unique or special about liberating structures l.jpg
What Is Unique or SpecialAbout Liberating Structures?

You have heard enough from us.

What do you think?

  • Chat with your neighbor

  • Share ideas in small groups

  • Share the most interesting or unusual with the whole group


Question 5 l.jpg
Question 5

Sponsoring a workshop is a big commitment. How likely is it that your organization or an organization you work with will want to host a workshop?

very likely

likely

not sure

unlikely

never

Your suggestions for how to position this offering will be most appreciated.


Question 6 l.jpg
Question 6

Designing a LS workshop is fun, relatively simple, and rewarding. How likely is it that you will want to design something similar to this offering for your organization or your clients?

very likely

likely

not sure

unlikely

very unlikely


Bonus material l.jpg
Bonus Material

  • Based on what emerges, we will dig deeper into the most interesting questions that pop up.

    • More on methods

    • What is different

    • Shifting behavior & culture

    • Sources of knowledge for innovation

    • Learning more


Methods that shift interactions l.jpg

Rapid learning & prototyping cycles

Feedback loops

Network weaving

Posting information with colorful graphics

Natural environment

Movement, fun

Social elements, mixing participants

Methods that shift interactions

  • Stories versus PPT

  • Listening, silence

  • Big questions

  • Improvising

  • Diversity of formats: pairs, small groups, large groups

  • Focus on purpose

  • Inviting participation, minimizing status differences


What is different s elf sustaining attributes include l.jpg
What Is Different?Self-sustaining attributes include…

  • more participatory, engaging diverse stakeholders in substantive co-design rather than the select few formal leaders;

  • more unit-based and local, with solutions worked out by front-line groups instead of imported “best practices;”

  • more informal, building on social networksand decentralized communities-of-practice rather than the organizational chart via “buy in” initiatives; and,

  • more practical, ready to be adapted in everyday settings without additional education, training or certification.

    These attributes help make Liberating Structures self-sustaining and self-spreading. We find people learn best when they discover solutions themselves, among peers in their local context.


Attributes of ls methods what other methods come to mind44 l.jpg

Simple & fast to learn

Requires very little explanation or theory

Draws out insight from interaction

Works with groups, units, or the whole organization

Focuses attention on relationship patterns

Minimally structured for maximum liberation

Generates surprises & novelty without central control (light coordination only)

Invites seriously-playful participation

Appeals to people in diverse roles

Generates very short- and long-term results

Illuminates an edge or paradoxical territory

Identifies and builds on assets that exist now

Invites inclusion & more diverse voices

Works with internal and external customers

Attributes of LS MethodsWhat Other Methods Come To Mind?


Shifting behaviors culture self reinforcing patterns l.jpg
Shifting Behaviors & CultureSelf-Reinforcing Patterns

Control

Focus on

Tasks & Alignment

Letting Go

Focus on

Engaging People

& Purpose

Liberating

Structures

A Personal and

Organizational

Journey

Self-

Organization

Dependency

Adapted in part from Bob Anderson,

“From Patriarchy to Partnership”


Behaviors linked to methods l.jpg
Behaviors Linked To Methods

Removing Barriers to Innovation

Listening & Asking for Help

Relying on “Local” Discovery

Taking on More Responsibility

Seeking Expertise, Not Rank

Sharing Information Freely

Seeking Multiple Interpretations;

Risking Multiple Actions


Sources of knowledge innovation l.jpg
Sources of Knowledge & Innovation

LS ++

LS +++

LS tap tacit and

latent-emergent

knowledge

Adapted from Alan Duncan, MD (Mayo Clinic)


Liberating structures help people and organizations l.jpg
Liberating StructuresHelp People and Organizations…

  • Attract people with diverse skills to solve problems

  • Invite, build and amplify a community-of-practice

  • Expand scarce resources

  • Work with the imagination & resources at hand

  • Adapt quickly, creatively to emerging problems

  • Create new markets, products, and services in partnership with unusual suspects

  • Work across silos, redrawing boundaries

  • Bounce back from disruptions


More about liberating structures @ www socialinvention net www plexusinstitute org l.jpg
More about Liberating Structures @ www.socialinvention.net & www.plexusinstitute.org

Keith McCandless, Co-Founder

Social Invention Group

P: +1 206.324.9332

[email protected]

www.socialinvention.net

Henri Lipmanowicz, Chair

Plexus Institute

[email protected]

www.plexusinstitute.org

Lisa Kimball, President, Plexus Institute

1025 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 1000

Washington, DC 20036

P: +1 202.857.9797

[email protected]

http://www.plexusinstitute.org


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