Tool – Liberating Structures

Liberating Structures introduce tiny shifts in the way we meet, plan, decide and relate to one another. They put the innovative power once reserved for experts only in hands of everyone.” 

Summary

This resource was recommended by Nate S. who uses these tools in his network and ministry events and meetings.

Unwittingly, the conventional structures used to organize how people routinely meet and work together stifle inclusion and engagement.

Conventional consultation and meeting structures are either too inhibiting (presentations, status reports and managed discussions) or too loose and  disorganized  (open discussions and brainstorms) to creatively engage people in shaping their own future.

They frequently generate feelings of frustration and/or exclusion and fail to provide space for good ideas to emerge and germinate. This means that huge amounts of time and money are spent working the wrong way. More time and money are then spent trying to fix the unintended consequences.

Liberating Structures are easy-to-learn microstructures that enhance relational coordination and trust. They quickly foster lively participation in groups of any size, making it possible to truly include and unleash everyone. Liberating Structures are a disruptive innovation that can replace more controlling or constraining approaches.

The Liberating Structures web site offers an alternative way to approach and design how people work together. It provides a menu of thirty-three Liberating Structures to replace or complement conventional practices.

These microstructures can be put together to form a string of activities that move a group through a decision-making or knowledge-sharing process. These structures, alone or in strings, can be used in consultations and conferences to encourage engagement, participation and sharing on a large or small scale.

Key Ideas

The Menu of 33 Liberating Structures. Within the site, each structure has a page that describes how and why to facilitate the activity.

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