Rapidly share novel ideas and make personal connections with ‘Impromptu Networking’

Christiaan Verwijs
Jan 23, 2018 · 5 min read

Liberating Structures are a collection of interaction patterns that allow you to unleash and involve everyone in a group — from extroverted to introverted and from leaders to followers. In this series of posts, we show how Liberating Structures can be used with Scrum.

If we attend a training or meetup with people we don’t know yet, we consider the traditional clockwise introduction round to be the worst part. It makes us nervous, causes sweaty hands and raises our heartbeat to unhealthy proportions. Although we might seem to be listening to other people introducing themselves; we’re not (sorry!). Although we pretend to be listening, all we’re really doing is prepare our own story. But when it’s finally our turn, we tend to start blushing and mumble something about family, hobbies and job that no one understands…

So when we started providing training and meetups, we promised ourselves to never ever do these kind of introductions. We have a whole battery of introduction games under our belt now, with Impromptu Networking as one of the favorites for its sheer simplicity but awesome power.

Impromptu Networking allows a group of any size to form personal connections and share ideas in less than 20 minutes. It invites everyone to participate from the very start and share stories, challenges or experiences with each other. Not only is it a good way to ‘break the ice’, it also doubles as a clever way to use the collective brainpower of the group to rapidly identify patterns.

This structure was created by Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless, inspired by June Holley. In this article we’ll share examples of how we’ve applied this structure within our Scrum training and coaching engagements.

Uses in Scrum

We’ve used Impromptu Networking for a number of applications in (and outside) Scrum:

Steps

Combinations

A key characteristic of Liberating Structures is that they can easily combined to create programs for entire workshops or training. The options are endless:

Tips

Closing

In this post we’ve shared how you can use the simple structure ‘Impromptu Networking’ to spread novel ideas and form personal connections quickly. Give it a try! We’re always happy to hear your experiences or hear your suggestions.

Interested in learning many different Liberating Structures in an intense 2-day workshop? Check out our agenda for upcoming Immersion Workshops. If you’re aiming to join, book early — they are exceptionally popular. And join the Dutch User Group to learn more about Liberating Structures.

You can already support us with $1/month. Find out more on patreon.com/liberators

The Liberators

The Liberators: Unleash The Superpowers Of Your Team