When you walk into a room with a group of people who take the work that they do very seriously, it’s sometimes a  brave act to produce items that look like play things.  Yet those very play things in the hands of the same group of people can enable different levels of thinking and creativity to emerge.

Working with objects such as paddle pop sticks, modeling clay or blocks opens up the possibility of shifts and change in a process.  The first ideas are placed on a flat board or sheet of paper.  The very mobility of the objects invites movement and discussion.

Recently I worked with a group of people who used the sticks and other materials (pencils, erasers, modeling clay, coloured paper and scissors) to map all of the services they deliver.  The product of their deliberations was easily transferred (after photography to retain the map) to a matrix sheet on another table grid to identify how those services might be delivered over the next few years.

Other applications for paddle pop sticks include – project planning, task allocation and idea listing.  I’d be interested in hearing more thoughts and experience with cheap and cheerful play things.

Lynn Walsh – workshop and meeting facilitator – Sydney- business and strategic planning – team conversations

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Liquid chalk on window liquid-chalk

Recently I discovered liquid chalk at my stationery supplier’s online site. It’s great to use when wall space is at a premium eg on windows. It takes a little practice to find the pressure for the right amount of liquid to come off the end of the ‘pen’. Paper towels and water (or window cleaner) will remove it from non-porous surfaces.


Lynn Walsh – workshop and meeting facilitator – Sydney

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