Conventional 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.
Simple rules liberate contributions from everyone
This website 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.
If you’ve been to either the Innovation Learning Network ( @healthcareILN ) in person meetings and/or events at the Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center ( @KPGarfield ) or the Center for Total Health ( @KPtotalhealth ), you’ve participated in the use of liberating structures to change the way people meet, network, and work together. Open Space Technology is an example, with lots of photos here about those events. Many, many other organizations use these as well.
Our friend Keith McCandless has put these together in a single web resource, book coming soon, so you can replicate these techniques as well – no secrets.