8 visual check-ins to invite creative presence

How do we create the conditions in our meetings so that we can be fully present together and tap into our creative capacities?

Check-ins are an important part of life within Percolab and working and being with others. They are collective moments to stop, reflect, share and become present. In my experience, they are also very helpful to move us away from analytical thinking when working in creativity and innovation. They are invitations for people to step into a creative mindset.

Over the past few years, as part of our check-in process with the team and within projects with clients and partners, we have developed and experimented with a number of different visual methods that can gently host us into a space of collective presence and creativity:

1. Quick blind draw

Materials

  • 4 index cards per person
  • Pens (enough for one each)

Method

  1. Each person takes between 4 index cards and a marker
  2. Ask the group to stand and mix up
  3. Ask them to find a partner
  4. Start a 30 second timer
  5. At the same time, each person looks at their partner in the eyes and draws their face on the index card. Without looking at the card!
  6. When the times up, each person gives the card upside down to their partner (the partner hides it at the bottom of their picture
  7. Repeat 3 times (so each person has 4 pictures of themselves)
  8. Everyone returns to their place and looks at their picture
  9. Ask each person to select a picture that resonates with how they see themselves
  10. Write their names on it
  11. Create a gallery

2. In One Line

Materials needed

  • Pens (enough for one each)
  • Paper (A4 or letter works well)

Method

  1. Make sure everyone has access to a piece of plain paper and a marker.
  2. Ask that everyone only draws one continuous line in a short time period (say 30 seconds)
  3. Ask that everyone shares at the same time (hold it in front of them and keep it there)
  4. Give a moment to look around the circle to see what has been drawn
  5. Ask for a quick explanation for why they drew what they drew.

Modifications

  • Ask everyone to select a color that resonates with them at that moment and then when sharing ask to talk about their drawing and why that color.

Example questions

  • How are you arriving today?
  • What energy are you bringing with you?
  • How do you feel about X project/topic?

3. Mark the paper

 

This process works well when dealing with creativity and innovation, with those who feel less comfortable drawing, as it pushes people to make a mark on a sheet. Also works well when working with large groups split up into smaller tables.

Materials needed

  • Large sheet of paper on the table(s)
  • Pens (enough for one each)

Method

  1. Ask everyone to write their name on the sheet
  2. Then to draw something that resonates with their name
  3. Ask the groups to share within their table
  4. For a larger group, you can invite one or two tables to share what they see emerge, or speaks to them

4. Squiggle Birds

Materials needed

  • Pens
  • Paper

Method

  1. Draw a squiggle on your paper
  2. Turn it into a bird by first adding feet like sticks
  3. Then look at it and decide where you want the head to be
  4. Draw some eyes and give it a very simple tail feather

Example questions

  • How is your squiggle bird arriving at this meeting?

5. Pick a Card

Materials

  • Set of cards
    Example: Percolab circle cards

Method

  1. Lay the cards out in the group.
  2. Ask people to choose one and turn it over.
  3. Ask some questions around the card choice, like “Why did you choose that colour or card?”

Example questions

  • What are you noticing when you look at the image (or see the picture)?
  • What does it say to you?”

6. Answer in image

Materials

  • Large paper (big enough for everyone)
  • Pens

Method

  1. Put a big piece of paper in the middle of the group.
  2. Make sure everyone has a marker
  3. Ask a question like “How are you arriving today?” or “What’s important for you today?”.  Everyone draws in response at the same time.
  4. Stand back and see what’s been drawn
  5. Go around and ask for people to share something about their image

7. Quick Find

Works well with distance teams i.e. via zoom or skype

Materials

  • Access to computer (ideally laptop) or smart phone

Method

  1. Use Google as your image bank.
  2. Think of an idea or your project and search for an image that represents something about it you’d like to share.
  3. Remember to give yourself a short time to search, otherwise you might fall into the internet and never come back! We suggest a one minute timer.
  4. Have each person share their image

8. Body talk

Materials

  • Paper and pens

Method

  1. Draw a body — it can be a stick or star person.
  2. What does the head, heart, arms and legs have to say?  Write this on your paper — either as a group exercise on a big sheet of paper or on individual sheets.
  3. Share around the group.

Visual check-ins help to bring people into innovation and creativity in a light way. Feel free to play around with these suggestions. Try them out with your team. Each of these are easily adaptable to the situation and context, as well as the needs and purpose of the meeting or the event. You have some other similar practices you would like to share? we would love to hear from you.

If you want to discover how Visual Thinking can relate to your business, project or ideas, join online in the VISUAL THINKING LAB, starting June 28, 2017.

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Le cercle d’action en une image

Le cercle d’action est une méthodologie créative que percolab utilise en développement organisationnel. Ça aide à dénouer un sujet complexe et travailler la culture organisationnelle. Comment documenter en une image une démarche de plusieurs mois? Voici l’exemple avec un client/collaborateur extraordinaire : le Centre de Communication Santé des Capitales (CCSC).

Le CCSC assure les services de traitement des appels d’urgence de nature préhospitalier. L’organisation a voulu profiter de l’occasion des travaux de préparation du déménagement de ses bureaux pour réfléchir à la nouvelle réalité de son travail. Il cherchait à répondre à cette question :
Pour se donner le meilleur milieu de travail possible dans des nouveaux locaux, que faut-il apporter avec nous et qu’est-ce qui serait mieux de laisser derrière? percolab a offert un accompagnement non-conventionnel à travers la pratique de cercles, en proposant un cercle d’action pour le développement organisationnel.

C’est cette démarche particulière nous avons traduit, non pas dans un rapport écrit, mais sur un support qui favorise le partage et la poursuite des échanges au sein des membres de l’équipe.

 

CSCCInfographique

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Les cercles… à la radio

Samantha a été invitée l’automne dernier à l’émission « Experts en série » de la radio « Vues et voix » pour parler des cercles d’apprentissage, de collaboration et de leadership. Voici l’enregistrement archivé de cet entretien. Bonne écoute!

Image par fodt

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The Art of (Inter)action – Art of Hosting Montreal

Art of Hosting is an international community of practitioners who engage teams and groups in action for the common good. It is about working better in complexity. Trainings in the Art of Hosting (AOH) have taken place on all continents in recent years.

percolab felt the potential and the importance of connecting Quebec with this practice and methodologies to develop new ways to collaborate, work and innovate.


We have supported four calls thus far. Each time a local collective is formed. For the first two training we were joined by three international friends from the AOH international community: Toke Moeller of Denmark who introduced  AOH to the European Commission, Chris Corrigan a seasoned practitioner in British Columbia and Tuesday Ryan-Hart who has vast experience in the application of AOH tools and methods in a large scale, in Columbus Ohio. Together we co-created a three-day training in January 2013 at Espace Lafontaine in the heart of Montreal and then a second one in October 2013 at the site of Expo ’66 and a third one Art of Commoning in November 2014 at the Montreal Planetarium in collaboration with Space for Life. The most recent training was in There is No Planet B in collaboration with the Biology Field Station of the University of Montreal.

Over 300 persons have participated in the trainings and practiced the art of group processes.


Here is what one organization has to say about the impact of the training:

This meeting has multiplied our capacity to enter into movement with practitioner-ing in line with the culture of openness, sharing, experimentation and learning emerging from our organization. It also helped to accelerate our collaborative practice internally and within our CA. AOH allows anchored authenticity.

Monique Chartrand, DG and Raquel Penalosa Board Member, Communautique

Read what others have written about their experience:

Also, we reflected on The Joy of a bilingual event that welcomes both languages ​​in Montreal and the benefits of staying in a role of learner in The Lost Practice of Apprenticeship.

For more information on upcoming AoH trainings in Montréal and activities of the community of practice, visit the web site:  Art of Hosting Montréal.

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Pourquoi s’engager dans un cercle de co-création?

Le cercle Mandalab est offert par Communautique aux professionnels, citoyens, et entrepreneurs de divers milieux qui ont un projet à avancer en mode intelligence collective. À la cinquième rencontre, les participants du cercle Mandalab ont eu à répondre à la question suivante :

 Pourquoi êtes-vous dans le cercle Mandalab… vraiment?

Ce n’est pas toujours clair ce qui motive des gens à vouloir s’engager avec des inconnus à huit rencontres étalées sur huit mois dans un déroulement somme toute assez flou. La valeur que je ressens dans des processus de cycles de cercles pour nous aider à naviguer la complexité, l’incertitude et l’interconnexion est très claire…  dans ma tête!

Voici ce que les participants à mi-parcours ont trouvé pour exprimer leur vision de l’apport du cercle pour eux :

  • Pour échanger, c’est une belle initiative, c’est différent. Je viens pour apprendre, pour les cercles et pour que mon milieu aie plus loin.
  • C’est nouveau , ça change de type de rencontres que je connais. Je viens pour apprendre des autres et faire avancer mon projet, pour expérimenter. J’aime moins la répétition – ici les nouvelles personnes rentrent, le lieu change. 
  • De plus en plus j’apprécie ces moments là. Je vois surtout son potentiel, le potentiel.
  • Expérimenter, pratiquer, c’est living lab, c’est très enrichissant, enlevant, il faut plus de pratique pour que ça essaime partout.
  • Pour l’expérience, pour me nourrir et nourrir mon projet et éventuellement nourrir les autres.
  • C’est mon 2ième, c’est de l’andragogie vivante, apprendre entre adultes, ca fait évoluer le projet que l’on y dépose
  •  Ça donne puissance à l’action, le plus important c’est d’entrer en relation avec des nouvelles personnes, et d’entendre la diversité de projets.
  • C’est d’entrer dans d’autres milieux et “cercles”. Ça répond à un besoin, échanger, apprendre, contribuer, apprendre des autres projets. Je fais beaucoup de meetings, ici c’est moins formatté, structuré, sans vouloir dire que c’est n’est pas structuré.
  • Très intéressant, développement de projet commun, porteuse de projets individuels. J’ai vu des gens échanger des défis et problématiques qu’ils n’auraient pas échanger dans des rencontres plus formelles. Je suis vraiment content de l’expérience des cercles.
  • Je suis facilement charmé par les gens, dans la courtepointe d’un cercle comme ça, c’est un collage de capacité, c’est mon école accélerée. Je suis à l’école à temps plein, mais ici en 4 heures j’apprends plus qu’à l’université – c’est moins évident, je le sens, comme un papillon qui va à la lumière.

Un grand merci à Communautique qui offre ce cercle depuis dans ans maintenant. percolab est ravi d’y assurer la conduite du processus et le coaching dans un esprit de leadership participatif. Pour plus d’information sur le modèle du cercle, voir Équipage.ca. Pour en savoir plus pour partir un cercle dans votre milieu, contactez-nous.

 

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