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BIG IDEAS

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WORDS

Today I was rummaging through files, seeking some inspiration.  I ran across a document and a memory I would like to share with you.

I was facilitating planning with an organization that was stuck.  They were buried in old words and old perceptions that no longer served them or their company.  And I could see them sinking into the muck of “I don’t know where to take this”.

I stopped the meeting.  Gave them a break. And when they came back, I asked them to close their eyes and take three deep breaths.  Clear their minds and let whatever floated in to plant itself. 

Starting on my right side, we went around the room with each of them giving me a word that had popped into their head.  The idea was to not overthink it.  To simply respond to what was buried.  We made it around the room three times.  As you will see, they began building on each other’s words. 

Here is the list.

  • Extreme Method Compose

  • Mainstream Platform Composition

  • Share Course of Action Construct

  • Inspire Imagine Diagram

  • Ideate Connect Delineate

  • Immerse Align People at the Center

  • Creative Strategic New Answers

  • Solutions Road Map Confidence

  • Human Blueprint Empathy

  • Explore Design Ambiguity

  • Uncover Intentional Optimism

  • Philosophy Reflective Listen

  • Values Design Frame

  • Impact Concept Challenge

  • Problem solving Conceptualize Challenges

  • Plan

We then explored which words felt like roadblocks. Which communicated possibilities. We listed them in their appropriate categories – sometimes with much discussion.  And then stepped back. 

The group decided they wanted to own the possibilities.  Because with them as the light, the roadblocks could be managed.  Needless to say, this blew the planning session wide open.

Your exercise: 

Read each word out loud.  Take them in.  Savor each one.  Answer four questions.

1.    Which of these words create a visceral reaction?

2.    Where do you feel the sensation? 

3.    What are you thinking when you feel it?

4.    And what might you have just discovered?

You may have come up with words not on this list.  Write them down and walk through the four questions.  Own those that open new doors for you.

And if you are comfortable sharing, I’d love for you to let us know what words you chose and what you discovered.

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