Inspired by GameStorming and looking for a new content piece for a 2 day workshop I was facilitating I decided to facilitate Lo-Tech Social_Network.
And for some reason I called it Social-Network-UN_Plugged…so both are used interchangeably. Why? Because I forgot the name when I introduced the activity.
Below is a write-up created with Lo-Teach Social_Network in mind and I am calling
- Team process of creating connections.
- Getting to know others while finding similarities and developing common strengths.
- Visual Representation of known and un-known connections, dependencies, and accountabilities within teams
- Flip Chart Paper or Large Roll of paper
- Post-its (multi-colored preferably)
- Markers or pens (the more colors the better!)
- Can be accomplished with groups of 3 – 1000’s
- For smaller groups use flip chart paper, for larger groups you are going to need a MUCH larger space and sufficient amounts of paper.
Social-Network-Un-Plugged is effective with groups of people who know each other well as well as those who do not know each other well.
The objective is to find connections, then to continue to explore how people in the team are connected. By graphically illustrating connections people begin to feel and understand that the similarities and accountabilities are more alike than they at first thought.
Prior to beginning this activity with small teams; ensure that you have at least one sheet of flip chat paper/per team of 10 or less.
For team of 10 or greater I recommend using another sheet of flip chart paper for every 10 people.
If the group is large for example 100+ there are 2 variations;
1. Break the group into teams of 10 people and each team sits with their own piece of flip chart paper. Teams can be Heterogeneous (do not know each other) or Homogenous (know each-other well) the facilitator and decision maker determines this based upon the program objectives.
2. The team stays one large organizational group and a large roll of paper is rolled across an available wall. With this variation everyone is finding connections with everyone else.
Additionally you will need at least one Post-it per/person and each person will need a marker, or something to write with.
Instructions and Facilitator Script:
Hand out the flip chart paper and ensure that everyone has a post-it and a marker or pen.
If using the large group method have the paper secured to a wall.
Below is how I generally explain the initiative;
“Within this room today we all share connections, connections of managerial authority, accountabilities, backgrounds, futures, trainings, families, hobbies, etc…
It is vital that these connections grow and we see that the similarities are greater than the differences. Once we explore how similar and inter-connected we all are then we can grow and develop solutions to enhance what we are doing.
Please in the top portion on your post-it write your name, below that you are going to draw a picture of your face. Below your picture write two ‘tags’ about yourself (one word skills you possess, sometime I have them write where they were born and if they work together number of years with the agency.)
Great now place you post-its randomly on the paper. Using the markers draw lines connecting you, to other people. Label these lines what the connection is. For example one line may connect 2 people who were hired together, another may connect people who worked in the same office, and another may connect people who like to eat chocolate ice-cream. The connections do not and should not be all work related, look for hobbies, personal preferences, vacation spots, sports teams, etc…”
Allow 20-30 minutes depending upon how interactive the groups are being, with larger groups you will have to allow more time. Some people walk away and come back; it is alright if everyone is not into the activity. Once the action has calmed down lead the group in some processing and reflection.
Processing & Reflection:
Here are some ideas;
Ask each person to find their post-it and count the amount of connections that off-shoot their name.
Once they find their post-it and count connections ask people to read the connections and reflect on how the connections were;
Following the personal reflection ask the people to forms groups of 2-3. Ask each person to share one connection for each of the following terms above (formed, broken, strengthened, changed) with the group.
Possible questions for the group;
What was your initial reaction to the challenge?
How many connections were formed?
What surprised you about the connections?
In what ways did you form connections?
Who are you connected with that you did not know you shared that connection?
What can we learn from this?
How can these ideas be brought to the office, home, community, classroom?
Original idea from the book; GameStorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers: Lo Tech Social Network game; p. 105
And reminded of the excellence of this activity from the GameStorming Blog
michael cardus is create-learning