sticky exercise
From: Laura Bagnall (Laura_Bagnallterc.edu)
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 94 14:56 CST
        Reply to:   sticky exercise
Rob Sandelin <robsan [at] microsoft.com> wrote: (as part of a list of
suggestions for avoiding "burnout":

"4. Create a roadmap of what you have to do.  Make a giant list
of 
yellow sticky notes with a task on each one and place them on a
large 
wall, in the order they have to occur.  Then look for energy
"humps", 
places where you will need a bunch of energy applied. Then you
can 
"pysch yourselves up" for those humps."

This is very similar to an exercise that we used during a
weekend retreat that we had a few weeks ago.  We used it both to
set an agenda for the weekend, and to answer the question "What
values do we hold in common"?  Pass out a pad of sticky notes to
everybody in the group.  Ask a single question and give
everybody 5-10 minutes to write down (in silence) as many
answers to the question and they can think of, and write one
answer per sticky.  At the end of the agreed upon period of
time, everybody places their stickies on a blank wall and (again
in total silence) rearranges the stickies so that similar
answers are clumped together.  It is acceptable for one person
to move a sticky to a different place after someone else has
moved it.  After a while, this will settle down until the
stickies are now in clumps.  The meeting facilitator then goes
over each "clump" and summarizes them for the group.  We found
this to be an incredibly powerful process that allows many ideas
to be collected in a short amount of time, and also gives a good
sense of how many people are interested in a particular idea. 
The advantage of this over a more traditional brainstorming
process in which people call out ideas and a facilitator writes
them down, is that once one person calls out a particular idea,
you don't know whether one other person had the same idea, or
ten other people.  We had a group of about a dozen people at the
retreat.  I don't know how well it would work in a larger group.

Laura Bagnall
NWIS cohousing




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