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It Depends Exercise

This is a challenging exercise that can be done as a group, or as an individual exercise:

  1. Draw a card at random
  2. Think about, discuss/decide on two variables that most affect if, when, how and how easily this pattern can be invoked in a deliberative group meeting/event. For example, if you drew Value the Margins, the variables might be (1) openness of the group culture to radical ideas and input, and (2) diversity of the group. If you drew Preparedness, the variables might be (1) amount of advance notice you received before the event and (2) amount of access to the attendees of the event to interview them before the event occurs.
  3. Recall a story or lay out a scenario of the extremes of each variable. For example, for Value the Margins you might identify a situation where the group culture was very open to radical ideas and another where it was very closed, and a situation where the group was very diverse and another where it was extremely homogeneous.
  4. Discuss/identify how/why these extremes could arise, to give yourself context for the fifth and final step in the exercise. For example, why was one group culture so open and another so closed?
  5. Discuss/identify how you would deal with each of the four combinations of extremes of the two variables. For example, how would you take advantage of a very open-to-radical-ideas group, if it was heterogeneous? If it was homogeneous (how could you seek and bring in more diversity)? How would you cope with a very closed group culture resistent to new ideas, if it was heterogeneous (get them to talk with each other at least)? If it was homogeneous (the toughest case)?
When to Use / Type of Meeting / When in Agenda: 
Can be used solitaire or in a group to deepen knowledge of patterns