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Liberating Structures Menu

Five conventional structures guide the way we organize routine interactions and how groups work together: presentations, managed discussions, open discussions, status reports and brainstorm sessions. Liberating Structures add 33 more options to the big five conventional approaches.

Any one LS can change a meeting. Together they can liberate and transform an entire organization.

The menu below represents version 2.2 of Liberating Structures.  If you are new to LS, we recommend that you start practicing with the simplest (e.g., 1-2-4-All, Impromptu Networking), starting from the top left and moving to the most intricate at the bottom right (Panarchy, Purpose-To-Practice). The more intricate methods use many of the simpler LS as building blocks. Read Microstructures & Design Elements to learn more about how they work.   Click on any Liberating Structure below.

Liberating Structures Menu Wicked Questions What, So What, Now What Min Specs Heard, Seen, Respected What I Need from You Integrated Autonomy Design Elements Appreciative Interviews Discovery and Action Dialog Improv Prototyping Drawing Together Open Space Critical Uncertainties 1-2-4-all TRIZ Shift and Share Helping Heuristics Design StoryBoards Generative Relationships Ecocycle Planning Impromptu Networking 15 percent solutions 25 10 Crowdsourcing Conversations Cafe Celebrity Interview Agreement Certainty Matrix Panarchy 9 whys Troika Consulting Wise Crowds User Experience Fishbowl Social network webbing Simple Ethnography Purpose to Practice

Liberating Structures inject tiny shifts in the protocols of how we meet, plan, decide and relate to each other that put in the hands of everyone the facilitative power once reserved for experts only.

 

The LS Selection Matchmaker is a simple way to get started on your first string of Liberating Structures.  

Need help liberating virtual meetings? Design checklist here.  Most LS can be adapted for use with virtual conferencing technology platforms.  

Below, is an annotated menu. A printed copy of this Annotated LS Menu is handy when you are designing with LS.

 All Liberating Structures are described in the same format.  Each includes:

  1. An icon and name plus a brief tag line that expresses its essential characteristic
  2. What is made possible: a paragraph that describes what you can expect to achieve when you use this LS
  3. Structural Elements - Min Specs
  4. Why? Purposes: a list of the kind of purposes that may incite you to use this particular LS
  5. Tips and Traps: Advice and do’s and don’ts that increase your chances of getting more value when you use this particular LS
  6. Riffs and variations: Examples of alternatives or embellishments for you to try and to imagine others
  7. Examples: a few actual applications to inspire you to think of opportunities that may exist in your context
  8. Collateral materials: visuals, slides, videos that may provide you with additional support when using this Liberating Structure.

 

  1. Immersion workshop sign-up sheet used to connect users across a large organization






  2. Attributes of Liberating Structures in practice

    The artist known as Tracy Kelly celebrating LS iconography!
    [Yes, there will be more Liberating Structures “on the menu."  Perhaps you would like to help develop them!? Check out Liberating Structures in Development.  These are promising prototypes that need field testing and vetting in multiple settings.]