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  • Writer's pictureBarb Bickford

Liberating Structures in Action

Someone asked me to give an example of how I have used Liberating Structures. OK, here goes!

I was working with an organization doing an IT project. The project was seriously delayed, and their team was frustrated about it and blaming each other for derailing it.

I led the team through "TRIZ", a Liberating Structure that helps groups identify what is NOT working. The team quickly discovered that the lack of progress what not about their skills, intentions or personalities, but rather about how IT projects were scoped and administered in their organization. In many of the ten problems they identified, the organization's policies and procedures had set up this project to fail before it even got off the ground. For example, contracted "development" programmers were often distracted by doing "maintenance" for IT projects already in production. The team then used the Liberating Structure "1-2-4-All" to brainstorm ideas about what to do differently. The result was a concise chart with constructive, actionable steps (shown) which the team took to management.

This one meeting -- which lasted less than an hour -- moved this team from blaming each other to working collaboratively to address the issues that really needed fixing. Voila!

Find out how Liberating Structures can help YOUR organization! Here are two workshops in the upper Midwest:

  • February 24-25 in St. Paul, MN -- Liberating Structures Immersion workshop

  • April 13-14 in Madison, WI -- Journey to Group Power workshop, featuring Liberating Structures

More information and links to register are available at Liberating Structures News and Events.

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