Liberating Structures Immersion workshop for THE Q Community, March 2018

Keith McCandless and Fisher Qua from the Liberating Structures team led Q members through an immersive workshop on 8 March 2018. The workshop aims were to: introduce Liberating Structures to include everyone in participating in decision making, enhance facilitation skills and strengthen connections among Q Community members.

"Useful, practical, easy to understand techniques - just what I was looking for. Advice on what techniques to use and when. Stringing techniques together to make the most of time with busy staff. Opportunity to practice in a "safe space". Facilitators were engaging, inclusive and flexible in their approach to meet the group's needs. Loved it!"

Feedback from attendee

Welcoming over 50 members to The Health Foundation offices, we had some coffee and networking time to start the day

Fundamentals of Liberating Structures

The Liberating Structures team describe how LS methods aim to move away from conventional structures which can be either over or under controlled
The design principles of all LS methods include some Must Do's and Must Not Do's
"A lot was covered... I felt energised and interested all day. It was a really interesting experience."

Troika Consulting

Troika Consulting allows individuals to get practical help from colleagues and works in a round-robin format. In this exercise, participants form groups of 3. Each person gets 2 minutes to share a challenge that they are having and what kind of advice they need. The 'consultants' can ask some clarification questions, following which, the individual seeking help turns their back and listens (no talking here!) to the two 'consultants' who will try and provide some advice in 3 minutes. Switch to the next person and repeat.


TRIZ invites creative destruction! It asks participants to consider all the steps to take to achieve the worst possible result and then taking action to stop this. In this exercise, the Q community were asked “What can you do to be sure that every patient falls or gets an infection or receives the wrong medication/dose while getting care?". The group then carried out another Liberating Structure, 1-2-4-ALL, where individuals shared their answers in pairs and then in groups of 4. After reflecting on how to stop any behaviours we see in our current practice, the group were then invited to share ideas together.

25/10 Crowd Sourcing

This structure's aim is to rapidly generate and sift through a group's most powerful actionable ideas. Our invitation was: What is a bold yet actionable idea for spreading cultures of patient safety? Everyone writes down their one bold idea on an index card (anonymously). Everyone then passes their card to someone and moves around the room, continuously passing their card...

The facilitator says "stop". You then review that particular card and idea and rate it from 1-5, with 5 being a fantastic idea! Then everyone repeats the actions; they move around the room passing cards until the next stop. Repeat 5 times then calculate the score out of 25. The top 10 are then shared with the group!

"I learnt about new ways to tackle different issues and especially liked the grid which helps you work out which on to use when"
Reading out the top ideas...
"It was lots of fun and I learned so much. I can definitely see methods that I can use at work and at home"
People who have fun get more done :0)
What were the highlights of the day and why?

Before the event we interviewed the co-founder of Liberating Structures, Keith McCandless, and discussed the background to developing the tools and real world applications.

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