Liberating Structures

To facilitate positive change in organisations, first we need to focus on improving engagement.

What are
Liberating Structures?

Liberating Structures are small shifts in the ‘microstructures’ that we rely on in meetings. Microstructures are the processes you use to organise all your interactions. If your team members have had enough of presentations, status reports, and ‘brainstorming’, it might be because these conventional processes are too constraining or too open-ended.

Liberating Structures, developed by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless, are new processes that strike a balance on this spectrum. These approaches increase positive dynamics and tap into collective wisdom, enabling your organisation to reach its full potential.

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Dynamic, engaging and accessible services

Our facilitation, training and coaching will stimulate new ways of thinking and problem solving for you and your team.  Make meetings meaningful and workshops worthwhile to save time, money and improve outcomes.

Which one should you use?

How long have you got? Different Liberating Structures have different durations. 

If you have less than 15 minutes…

Try 1-2-4-All    

The clue is in the name with this one… the technique includes the whole group and takes only 12 minutes since it follows a 1-2-4 sequence. For 1 minute, individuals reflect on the subject alone, for 2 minutes they discuss in pairs, for 4 minutes they discuss in fours, and for the remaining 5 minutes the whole group reflects and pulls out key points from the small group discussions.

If you’re all slightly unacquainted…

Impromptu Networking (20 minutes)

This is a great warm up practice that breaks the ice without having to say the dreaded ‘fun fact about yourself’. It involves getting into pairs and sharing one thing you wish to contribute to the group, one thing you want to take away from the group, and one question you have. Recirculate three times to get to know more people!

If you need to instantly engage and spark some clever creativity to solve a problem…

Wise Crowds (15 minutes per person)

This one can be used no matter the size of the group whether there’s four of you or one hundred of you. Individuals pretend to be clients and ask for help from all other members simultaneously.
Use it to:

● Form supportive relationships 
● Improve consulting skills 
● Increase transparency 
● Increase self-awareness and ability to ask for help 
● Utilise each member’s best qualities

Others include: TRIZ, 15% solutions, 5-whys, Shift and Share, Celebrity Interview. Take a look at the Liberating Structures website to see the full menu of exercises and more details on how to use them. 

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Key Benefits of using Liberating Structures

  • Innovation 
  • Inclusion 
  • Participation 
  • Clarity 
  • Purpose