Do It Yourself Activities


Welcome to our newest Toolkit feature, where we share activities that you can try out in your own organization to help you advance your innovative projects and build your adaptive muscles.

We’ll be adding a new activity to this list every Friday, so stay tuned!

Six Hats for Parallel Thinking

Purpose: Improve group discussion and decision-making by getting your group thinking in parallel with one another and sharing the same framing lens, as an alternative to a discussion based on quick feedback and opposition.

Try It: Six Hats for Parallel Thinking

Systems Thinking: Triangles

Purpose: Understand how the relationships binding together the structure of a system can impact its behavior. This exercise will help demonstrate how behavior can be changed by an outside influence, and what happens when people with high (or low) leverage in a system are impacted by those influences.

Try It: Triangles

Visualizing Challenges

Purpose: See your organization’s challenges in a new way using visual images. This activity is most useful at the beginning of your adaptive change process, to help you think about the challenges (and your ideal outcomes) in a way that’s different from the regular language you use within your organization.

Try It: Visualizing Challenges

Identifying Your Adaptive Challenge

Purpose: Question long-held assumptions and identify a persistent adaptive challenge at your organization.

Try It: Identifying Your Adaptive Challenge

Exploring Organizational Culture

Purpose: Explore the culture of your organization by describing your behaviors, values, and assumptions, and reflect on which aspects of your culture are enabling or inhibiting your innovative projects.

Try It: Exploring Organizational Culture

Team Building: The Tower Game

Purpose: Learn about team roles, planning versus execution, communication and team effectiveness. This activity is most useful at the beginning of an innovation process, to help understand your innovation team’s dynamics and preferred leadership roles.

Try It: The Tower Game

Lateral Thinking: Random Entry

Purpose: Generate new, provocative approaches to an adaptive challenge you’re facing. This activity is best deployed at the beginning of an innovation process, when you are seeking bold new ideas.

Try It: Random Entry

Lateral Thinking: Innovation Transfer

Purpose: Draw parallels between successful strategies from another innovation project and your current project. This activity is best deployed at the beginning of an innovation process, when you are identifying your challenges and developing strategies to work through them.

Try It: Innovation Transfer


Karina Mangu-Ward is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at EmcArts.