Liberating Structures News + Updates
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System Problems Shout, Distributed Solutions Whisper

It is easy for us to see how our big systems and institutions are failing people. We WAIL, WINGE, and SHOUT.  

It is much more difficult to see how tiny distributed interactions contribute to the failures or to the generation of solutions. The changes may seem inconspicuous, unpretentious, or fleeting. However, if you listen closely, you can hear the whispers and notice how they interlink and build on each other to spark momentum.   

Because Liberating Structures introduce small changes in interactions their users become gradually more attuned to noticing how even the tiniest change can trigger different outcomes. Learning the value of details makes it worthwhile to pay attention to them, which, in turn, makes it easier to see their impact. An appreciation of small changes makes it more likely not be fooled by big changes that make little difference.

Bigger-than-expected results are related directly to our success in spreading the use of microstructures. As more people use LS, the results get deeper, wider, and more durable. A virtuous cycle in action. This update is designed to support a variety of diffusion strategies.  First, learning and leveling up opportunities.  


::Immersion Workshops::

  • Poulsbo, WA (nicknamed “Little Norway” near Seattle), October 4-5Registration details here. Sponsored by the CommonHouse, transforming community and organizations will be explored side-by-side. Contact Pastor Tom Thresher or Dr. Neil Baker (Neil Baker Consulting) with questions. 
  • Austin, Texas. November 6-7. Registration details now available. With Anna Jackson (Alpinista Consulting), Keith McCandless, and special guests Professor Arvind Singhal and Henri Lipmanowicz. Co-sponsored by Mental Health Resource of Texas (Via Hope) and Seton Medical Center. The focus is on “Innovation Through Participation” with an Austin twist and twang.

In the works for 2015: London, UK; RTP, North Carolina; Bay Area, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Denver, CO; Miami, FLA; Boston, MA; Seattle, WA.  

:::User Groups:::

New user groups are launching in NOLA, NYC, Toronto and DC. We are happy to support start-up efforts by weaving you together with other local LS users (contact Keith or Fisher). 

::::LS Coaching Prototype Launch::::

Got LS experience?  Want more experience?  We are floating an LS prototype balloon for design partnering and peer coaching.  

We will match a well-seasoned LS practitioner with a group of 3-5 people who want a little support as they deepen their design experience. We've seen people make fast progress, gain confidence, and expand their repertoire when doing this informally - time to see what can be done for both the coach AND the cohort participants when we bring just a touch more structure to the interactions. Details: a 6-week cycle, one hour group consultation, and storyboarding with a focus on design skills.  

Like all things LS, we will go deep and wide with velocity. If you want to join in our prototyping effort as a coach or person who wants help, contact Fisher


:::::LS Syllabus, Network Map + Stories:::::

  • NEW: Reflections from the first Liberating Structures Fellow--Acadia Roher. It all started at the Clinton School for Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas.
  • This fall a small group will put together a LS course syllabus, tapping resources in the book and website. We want to help spark ideas among educators.  Additionally, we have been contemplating a LS-MOOC. Interested in joining in? Contact Keith.
  • Get yourself listed on the LS User/Facilitator map.
  • Do you have a story to tell about making a big difference with tiny Liberating Structures? Send us a few lines about your work. We will find a way to help you publish.  
  • Top Wicked Question: How impossible is it to get a conversation going when everyone is talking too much?  (adapted from Yogi Berra)
Keith, Fisher + Henri
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