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Beyond Getting Started

Learning to use Liberating Structures is like learning a new language. First you learn individual words. Then you put them together into a simple sentence and soon you are speaking series of sentences in the new language.  Beyond the beginning, below are resources to boost your LS fluency. 


IEQ Survey

Matching Matrix + LS Selection Matchmaker

Sample Strings

Sample Storyboards

The global LS community is on Slack! It’s a group open for everyone practicing Liberating Structures. Use to join & exchange with others. Highly recommended are the channels #strings and #wisecrowds to get & give help and #lsfieldstories.

You may want to start evaluating your progress "learning the language" within your group or unit. You can use the IEQ Survey (the Inclusion and Engagement Quotient survey) as a baseline measure and periodically as you proceed. The survey helps you self-assess efforts to include and unleash everyone in shaping their next steps.  

In the Liberating Structures Menu each structure is described by a single sentence, there to help you decide when to use it. When one Liberating Structure is sufficient for handling a small routine situation, that single sentence will capture and communicate the essence of what will happen. The Matching Matrix + the LS Selection Matchmaker will help you design more complex objectives in mind.  

When users get serious about liberating with LS and focus on expanding their repertoire, maestros have described a progression through stages. Each level transcends and includes the previous stage. How is your journey?

As you progress from simple applications to spicier projects or more ambitious goals that require more steps, you will need to connect several sentences to describe and think through what will happen. In other words, you will need not one or two Liberating Structures but a sequence of them.  We call these sequences strings and more elaborate sequences storyboards. Constructing strings and storyboards that are adapted to your challenges and have a powerful impact is a beyond the beginning step in mastering the language of Liberating Structures.

A handful of insights have popped into view since we published the book in 2014.  They come from observing what users in the far flung LS community are accomplishing.  The following themes have been “slow cooking.”



We learn and co-evolve the LS repertoire via listening to the experience of diverse users.

Strategy Gameplan draws out and records the proceedings for a string of LS microstructures (artists Tracy Kelly & Nancy Whilte)

Finding the question that can help a group move forward is an improvisational art form. Above are questions we use frequently.

The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend. Henri Bergson

An innovative string on the way to becoming a storyboard for a pilot project/launch in Haiti