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What People Are Saying
About Liberating Structures (and this site)

Holy smoke. This might be one of the most useful websites I've been introduced to since Google. The only words that come to mind are swear words, and I'm on county email.

Ryan Murrey – Acting Executive, Washington State CASA

Thank you so very much for being so willing to share with the universe! What you have placed on your website is truly a gift.

Nurse Manager – Montana

Bringing Liberating Structures into my work is restoring my soul. Thank you.

Deb Witzel – Executive Director (Longmont Community Justice Partnership)

A treasure trove of simple, practical methods to stimulate critical conversations and liberate the full potential of any group, from the frontline to the C-suite. 

Cheryl M Scott – Global Programs Senior Advisor, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Liberating Structures will forever change the way we look at collaboration, learning and leadership by showing us how structures are critical in the world of work. Simply put, this book is for every leader who wants innovative but proven methods to transform his or her organization and engage its members in that journey of discovery. 

Pat Witherspoon – Dean, College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at El Paso

Read the LS book reviews on Amazon.com.  4.9 stars, 30+ reviews.

As a Wall Street Journal columnist covering executive leadership, I discovered Lipmanowicz and McCandless in the early days of their work with Liberating Structures. Today, as an entrepreneur in a complex industry, I use those practices routinely. Any group, anywhere is inherently poised for rapid transformation. Liberating Structures make it simple to turn this potential into reality. 

Thomas Petzinger Jr. – Founder of five life science companies and former Wall Street Journal Front Lines columnist

Pan, the Greek god of nature, evokes an image of unpredictable and surprising change. Liberating Structures routinely generate happy surprises.

The authors have drawn on pioneers in complexity science research, making insights immediately useful for people in the field. Liberating Structures invite frontline ownership of challenges by engaging everyone in a way that encourages them to become part of the solution and take action. 

Brenda Zimmerman – Associate Professor of Strategy/Policy, Schulich School of Business, Toronto

Liberating Structures have given me not only many powerful new ways for engaging employees and customers; they have also succeeded beyond my imagination in providing endless new approaches to improve productivity and creativity, all in a fun and enjoyable way!  

Guy Eiferman – President, Healthcare Services & Solutions, Merck & Co.

Billings Clinic has been using many Liberating Structures for a decade. The engagement and emergence of new and stronger teams that include staff, leaders, physicians and nurses has helped us to improve patient experience and safety while reducing costs in an extremely complex healthcare environment. Highly recommended. 

Nicholas Wolter, MD – CEO, Billings Clinic

[A] new framework for effective collaboration and interaction. …“Liberating Structures” can enable practitioners to do everything from keeping employees engaged in large-scale discussions to eliciting full-sentence answers from normally taciturn teenagers. ... Readers who implement the book’s techniques for managing conversations and guiding them to productive outcomes will add a useful tool to their managerial repertoires. 

An actionable guide to productive group management that embraces and expands upon popular concepts of effective business leadership and teaches readers to derive maximum value from well-structured conversations.

Kirkus Reviews

Being able to manage interactions with Liberating Structures helps me be more self-confident and a better leader in the eyes of my team and my customers. Being an early adopter increased my influence in the organization and is one of the reasons I'm now a member of the senior management team. Liberating Structures helped me grow in my career.   Vanessa Vertiz – Business Unit Director, Lima, Peru

For the past eight years in Latin America and Italy Liberating Structures has helped me and my teams work through a wide range of issues. They became a way of doing business and to move organizations and people to new heights. 

David Raimondo – General Manager Latin America, Coopervision

There are those rare but delicious moments when you stumble across a resource that transforms everything. Liberating Structures have provided a delightfully rich repertoire of methods that live up to their bold name—liberating participants to engage, collaborate and reach into their collective wisdom to address their concerns and goals.  And not just for my practice, but increasingly as fruitful tools for managers and staff across the Yukon Government organization.

Barrett W. Horne – OD Consultant with the Yukon Government, Canada

A must-read guide to transform how you engage others. Liberating Structures offer elegant approaches to get the most out of every discussion, meeting or workshop. Our NGO uses them internally and with our partners around the world. From Tanzania to NYC, from St. Lucia to Liberia, I have been amazed watching Liberating Structures unleash the potential of each gathering. 

Sean Southey Executive Director, PCI Media Impact

This looks wonderful! Love the way you have the information organized, and I think the amount of detail for each LS could help anyone get started.  As I think about our use of LS, it seems to me that there are two levels (at least) of how they can be used. Any of them can start a good conversation, and I know I’ve used several of them for that purpose—where I think my own learning lies is how to put a sustained effort together that goes further—and it feels like that part comes from the design phase. Does that make sense? Great work.

Sharon L. Sims – Professor

Conducted first liberating structure at work today - it was great! It was fantastic. There are two great takeaways: 1. We were surprised at how we all had basically the same common goals, even though many members are at odds with one another. 2. We did it on the floor and people from other areas were stopping us in the hall and asking us about the liberating structures exercise. Thanks for all your hard work and help guys... you are making a difference!

Terri B

The website is really great - and I appreciate the spirit of generosity in sharing these highly-practical "ways of doing." I recently used Impromptu Speed Networking to start a workshop with university professors who thought they already knew one another. From the intensity of conversations, and the delight on many faces, I could see that people were getting to know one another at a much deeper level - it was very gratifying to see the power of LS in action!

Karen G – Researcher and Trainer

Last night I used the LS 9 WHYS with my fatherhood class. All of the participants are in a work release program and owe child support. I first had each participant write down on a sheet of paper the primary behavior that prevents them from being the best dad they can possibly be. Most of the guys wrote down alcohol addiction or drug addiction.

I then interviewed each of them using the 9 WHYS. For example, I first asked one dad, “Regarding you as a parent, why is it important that you address your alcohol addiction?”

His response, “Because my addiction to alcohol has robbed my children of time with me…”

My next question, “Why is spending time with your children important to you?”

His response, “Because my father never spent time with me as a child.”

My response, “Why is that important to you?”

His response, “Because I felt lonely and abandoned as a child and I don’t want my kids to feel the same way…” and so on.

There wasn’t a guy in the class who wasn’t crying. It was one of the most moving classes I have ever facilitated. That’s why I believe in the power of Liberating Structures.

Matt Riede – Probation Officer and Restorative Justice Practitioner

 

After more than a decade in higher education, I had realized that my workshops, meetings, classes were difficult to plan and not as powerful as I wanted them to be. I was seeking new ways to engage my students, colleagues and community partners. Liberating Structures were the critical tools I was missing. When using them, I have been surprised by the results (in all positive ways) and challenged by what I have discovered from them. They are transforming my classroom and work. It is now painful for me to sit through a traditional meeting or lecture-style class.

Marie Lindquist, Director of Field Service Education, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service

 

Words fail my enthusiasm for and belief in this work. Can't wait to practice—next Thursday, strategic planning retreat with department heads and two willing accomplices.  Thank you for truly energizing my world and hope for the future.

Sarah (training director in higher education)

 

Liberating Structures are microstructures that help you design interactions between people and groups of people to optimize interaction, creativity, and results.  They can be used in everyday meetings, strategic planning sessions, and to enhance planning efforts for projects large and small.  They are serious fun – serious in the results they deliver and fun and engaging enough that you will never again have to ask someone to “buy in” to what has been created.  

Tim Jaasko-Fisher, Co-Director, Court Improvement Training Academy, UW School of Law & Assistant Director, Robert’s Fund 

 

To be prepared against surprise is to be trained.  To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.  James P. Carse