Object of Play
Ideal activity for flex points in a gathering (the beginning, when coming back from lunch, at the end of the day). Give everyone at a gathering an opportunity to “get there” mentally by engaging with the purpose/subject. Give everyone a significant amount of “air time” so that everyone’s voice is in the conversation (no matter how many participants, everyone 5-10 minutes). Energize participants and get oxygen to the brain by standing and moving physically).
Number of Players
Unlimited. This activity “scales” really well from a minimum of around 12 to thousands.
Duration of Play
How to Play
1. Invite everyone to leave their “stuff” and move to an open space in the room where everyone can stand and there’s room to move around.
2. Pose a juicy question that is directly related to the purpose of the gathering.
3. Ask everyone to reflect on the question silently for a full minute
4. Explain the simple rules;
- When you hear the chimes, find a partner (someone you know less well than others is more interesting). If you’re looking for a partner put your hand in the air so someone else who needs a partner can find you easily.
- Have a 5 minute conversation about the question.
- When the chimes ring again, find a new partner (remember the hand up trick) and have another conversation.
- When the chimes ring continuously, stop and find out what happens next.
5. Three ‘rounds’ of the process are usually good.
6. At this point, there are many possible variations for a next move. Two possibilities: (1) Invite everyone to sit back down and start the next part of the gathering. (2) Invite partners to hook up with one or two other pairs and sit down in a knee-to-knee circle and talk about what struck them about the conversations.
Debrief this process in addition to harvesting the content from the discussions Invite participants to reflect on what it was like to have the conversation using this process. Things they might notice include: How starting a meeting standing up builds rather than drains energy, how having several iterations of the same conversation with different partners changes understanding, and how questions open up more space for creative thinking than presentations. The goal is to introduce participants to the pattern language of these generative processes.
Source: Shared by Lisa Kimball of Group Jazz.