Liberating Structures for Innovation by Kyla Shawyer

Kyla Shawyer is with DSIL Global. She worked with Operation Smile and then with the Resource Alliance. She is a passionate advocate for sharing and collaboration in the social good space.

Context: Factors Leading to Disruptive Change:

  • Demographics
  • Economics
  • Government
  • Technology – for example the music industry went from albums, CDs, and now digital

We live in V.U.C.A. times!

We can see it as either Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous OR as Vibrant, Unreal, Crazy, and Astounding!

The Chinese word for “crisis” is a combination of two characters that mean “danger” and “opportunity”

Trends Shaping Our World Today:

  • Old Power vs. New Power
  • Currency vs. Current
  • Help by few vs. Made by many
  • Downloads vs. Uploads
  • Commands vs. Shares
  • Leader-driven vs. Peer-driven
  • Closed vs. Open

Values Alignment: Becoming Purpose-Driven

  • Making work more human.
  • Work experiences that meet the needs of the employee.
  • Shift from organizational needs to individual needs.
  • Now that the corporate world is trying to do social good, how can the non-profit
  • 58% of Millenials would take a 15% pay cut to work in organizations whose values align with their own.

Engagement at Work:

  • 16% of full time employees are actively disengaged
  • 51% are not engaged but show up
  • 33% love their jobs and as a results they are more productive, profitability, and less absenteeism.
  • So how do we engage our employees?
  • The answer: Liberating structures!

Liberating structures is really about helping our world learn how to collaborate through inclusion and engagement.

Liberating structures break down silos.

From Over-controlled to Under-controlled

Conventional Approaches Include:

Presentation – Managed Discussion – Status Update – Brainstorming – Open Discussion –

Open discussion = Vent liberally while creating the impression of inclusion.

Liberating structures include a menu of 33 alternate ways of organizing.

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