LS – Wicked questions

Liberating structures: Wicked questions

What is meant by it?

Asking wicked questions during presentations, meetings and conferences is another great way used by the agile community for making sure that everyone engages in the discussion. It helps to sharpen everyone’s ability to think more strategically. Therefore, when you ask wicked questions, the participants will have to open their minds and think strategically to answer your question.

How is it done?

Begin the session by asking everyone which complementary strategies do we need to follow to be accomplish our goals. You can make a group of 4-6 people. Everyone should be equally involved in the discussion. Participants can either participate individually or they can form small groups or work as a whole. Once the groups are made you will explain them what wicked questions are. For 5 minutes each pair will be discussing about the wicked question format. In the next 5 minutes, each group will select their most strong wicked question. Then, everyone as a whole shall pick out the most powerful wicked questions within 10 minutes.

Why are wicked questions important?

It will help you to develop your innovative strategies so that you can move forward and evaluate your decisions. You will be able to use your creative skills and engage with other people.

Tips and Traps

Following are some tips and traps that may help you:

  • Every participant should answer both sides of the paradox.
  • A variety of examples should be used.
  • Try to work in circles.
  • Don’t use nasty question.
  • Don’t ask questions related to data.
  • Let everyone participate equally and give in their ideas.

 

Examples

Wicked questions can be used in the following circumstances:

  • They can be used for parental advice.
  • For helping leaders to keep the public involved plans.
  • To manage huge global operations.
  • In functional departments including HR, legal, etc.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – Nine Whys

Liberating structures: Nine Whys

What is meant by it?

In the world of the agile community, the ‘Nine Whys’ play a great role as these liberating structures can help in making everything more clear and simple. Whenever you are discussing something with a group, always make sure to explain your point with clarity. Once the point is clarified only then you should move onto the next question.

How is it done?

Firstly, you will ask everyone what would they do if they were working on a specific matter and then ask them to make a short list of tasks. After that, you will have to keep asking them ‘Why’ related questions nine times so that the participants can get understand their work in a deeper way. There should be chairs for people to sit on without any tables and the number of groups can be unlimited. Everyone will be participating equally. First pairs will come, then groups of four people will come and then everyone will come as a whole. Every person will be interviewed by his partner for 5 minutes. Each pair will then share their experience with another pair for five minutes.

What is its purpose?

This technique will help you in knowing the importance of group members and it will also help you in organizing a momentum through your stories. Therefore, you will have to provide clear answers so that everyone can move forward.

Tips and Traps

You will need to focus on the following tips and traps:

  • Always try to avoid judging other people and make sure that everyone feels welcomed and comfortable to work with you.
  • Have fun with your partner and keep on asking them ‘why’.
  • Keep digging in for more information by using the ‘why?’ questions as much as you can.
  • Keep the stories shared between you and your pair confidential.

Examples

Following are some of the circumstances where you may have to use this liberating structure:

  • To clarify the purpose of launching a new product.
  • In the start of any coaching session.
  • To clarify your person purpose as an individual.
  • To clarify why you are launching a collaborative research work.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – Impromptu networking

Liberating structures: impromptu networking

What is impromptu networking and what is made possible?

Impromptu networking is another kind of liberating structure, which is very beneficial for the agile community. It can be used to grasp the attention of a group of people on a particular problem so that they can solve it. It helps in problem-solving. People tend to lose their focus on things, which is why they can solve a particular problem, however with the help of impromptu networking you will be asking questions in 20 minutes to address a specific problem. You will make sure that everyone is attentive and you all will work together to figure out how to solve the problem.

How is it done?

First of all, you will invite the audience into the discussion by asking them questions related to their main aim to be a part of this group. Make sure that the participants are allowed to sit in an open space without any obstruction. Everyone should be given an equal opportunity and time to speak. You can either make pairs by yourself or allow them to form their own group with strangers or people they know. Three rounds are held in each round every person is given 2 minutes to answer the questions.

What is its purpose?

The purpose of liberating structures is to make sure that everyone engages in solving the problem by answering thee question. It will also help shy people to be a bit more confident. Sometimes little suggestions can make a significant change.

Tips and Traps

Here are some of the tips and traps that may help you.

  • Ask one challenge question.
  • Ask one give and take question.
  • Ask engaging questions from the participants.
  • Before you being a meeting you can use impromptu networking.
  • You can use bells to enter the other round.
  • Ask open-ended questions.

Examples

You can take help from this kind of liberating structure in the following circumstances:

  • To make a deeper connection with the class, the professors tend to ask questions like, “Why do you want to attend this class?” or “What do you think you will learn from this class?”.
  • People can use impromptu networking to start a cross-functional or interdisciplinary learning session such as with judges and lawyers.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – 1-2-4-all

What is meant by it?

When using liberating structures 1-2-4-all, you will be able to engage everyone regardless of the fact how big the group or audience is. In this way, by involving everyone you will produce better ideas and get the work done faster. People will not be hesitant to put forward their ideas, therefore solutions would be found easily. In this kind of liberating structure, an open conversation will be held between the participants which will help them in being more creative and the solution will be found easily.

How is it done?

Firstly, you will have to put forward a question to all the participants regarding to the presentation of the issue such as ‘How would you solve this problem?” or “How would you progress in such a situation?”. There can be unlimited number of groups and it is optional if you want to provide them with chairs and tables. The participants will be working in pairs and then in groups a of four. A paper shall be given to all the participants so that they can note down their observations. Every participant will be participating equally. First, the participant would start alone for silent self-reflection for 1 minute, then a pair would be formed to build ideas for 2 minutes and then a group of four people would be formed so that they can share their ideas for 4 minutes. Finally, everyone would discuss their ideas with each other for 5 minutes.

Why are they used?

There are various reasons why these liberating structures 1-2-4-all are used. They will help in making everyone engage more to search for answers, it will reduce the dependency of the vicious cycle, it will also diminish the power differentials, quiet conversations will be improved, and people would become good at observing before expressing their insights.

What are the Tips & Traps?

Before getting into a paired conversation, make sure to do self-reflection and then ask everyone to note down their point of views during that. You can use bells for different announcements. Make sure to complete your presentation in the allotted time. Ask each group to put forward their insights. It is also very important that one person speaks at a time. If you think that you have more to say, then you can go for another round.

Examples – Where can you use it?

Now you must be wondering, where you can use these liberating structures 1-2-4-all, right? Well there are several times when you can use them that are listed below.

  • After giving a speech or presentation, it is always important to get feedback to know how did you do. So, instead of asking, ‘any further questions?’ you can use the liberating structures.
  • Managers can also use 1-2-4-All to plan how they will conduct their meetings.
  • You can use them to chat about meetings.
  • For starting a discussion which is stuck on some other matter.
  • If you are a leader, then you can use them for conveying a message to your followers.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – Wise Crowds

What is meant by it?

Wise crowds are an organizational structure that can help a group of people in engaging together to solve a problem and help each other. The participants will be either called ‘clients’ or ‘consultants.’ Clients are those people who will be sharing their challenges with the consultant and asking them for help. The consultant will be focusing on the story and give recommendations in return.

How is it done?

Wise crowds can be carried out by asking the participants to become clients and consultants. The clients will be sharing their challenges to their consultants and asking for help to learn how to solve those challenges. Consultants should be focusing on their client’s story and keep asking questions to help the client share their experience in a better way. Consultants will also have to give advice and recommendations to their clients.

What is its purpose?

Wise crowds are an agile way of generating good results that can help people in succeeding their challenges. They will be able to improve their skills when it comes to asking, giving and receiving help. They will also learn how to liberate their creativity and intelligence. Mutual trust will be built between the clients and consultants.

What are its Tips and Traps?

Make sure that you not only invite experts but also invite the general public. Participants should critique themselves and not jump to action before they have clarified their problems. Participants should stay focused on their client’s experience, and the clients should not be hesitant to answer any question.

Examples – Where can it be used?

Wise crowds are a liberating structure that can be used in the following circumstances:

  • For research groups to leach from each other.
  • For sharing progress in group projects.
  • It can be used instead of reviews and presentations.
  • For solving different problems.
  • For improving your relationship by getting advice from someone.
  • The salesperson can use it for keeping new customers.

— Slimane Zouggari