Shift and Share

Shift and Share

Shift and Share is a Liberating Structure that helps spread novelty across groups

With Shift and Share, you can quickly and effectively share various useful innovations or programs that may be hidden within a group, organization, or community. Shift and Share gets rid of long large-group presentations and replaces them with several concise descriptions made simultaneously to multiple small groups.

Innovators showcase their ideas or products and gather meaningful feedback in short cycles. In one hour or less it’s possible to include everyone in a large group and make every voice heard in a structured, constructive way.

A few individuals set up “stations” where they share in ten minutes the essence of their innovations that may be of value to others. As small groups move from one innovator’s station to another, their size makes it easy for people to connect with the innovator.

They can quickly learn where and how new ideas are being used and how they might be adapted to their own situations. Innovators learn from the repetition, and groups can easily spot opportunities for creative mash-ups of ideas.

Four Structural Elements

1. Structuring Invitation

  • Invite participants to visit several innovators who will share something new or innovative they are doing and that may be of value to them

2. How Space Is Arranged and Materials Needed

  • A large space where 5 to 8 stations can be set up far enough from each other to minimize interference with one another
  • A suitable number of chairs to accommodate the small groups at each station
  • Space for a display as needed by presenters
See also  Integrated~Autonomy

3. How Participation Is Distributed

  • A few members of the group, the presenters, share their work
  • Everyone else in the small groups has an equal opportunity to participate and contribute
  • Presenters set up their individual stations
  • The whole group is split into the same number of small groups as there are presenters, for instance, 7 small groups if there are 7 presenters
  • Groups stay together while they rotate through all the innovation stations

4. Sequence of Steps and Time Allocation

  • Describe the process: explain that small groups will move from station to station for a 10-minute presentation and brief questions and feedback period. If it wasn’t done in advance, identify the 3 to 7 presenters for the innovation stations (can be people who volunteer in the moment). Form the same number of small groups as there are presenters. 5 min.
  • Each small group goes to a different station, where presenters conduct their sessions (repeated up to 7 times). 10 min. per station/session
  • Participants ask questions or provide feedback. 2 min. per station/session
  • Small groups move to the next station. 1 min. per move
  • Repeat until groups have visited all stations.
  • Total time for visiting 6 stations is approximately 90 minutes.
Purposes and Objectives
  • Quickly share ideas and innovations
  • Enable people to recognize that they are innovating or have the potential to innovate
  • Build trust and a community of practice among members
  • Reveal how the formal technological hierarchy can obscure the hidden contributions of frontline innovators
  • Quickly give participants a sense of the innovation landscape
  • Explore and expose bottom-up and fringe-in innovations
  • Spark friendly competition, mash-ups, and collaboration
See also  Frozen Team
  • Play with the timing but keep it as tight as possible. A test run for the presenters is often a good idea as they most likely won’t be used to such a strict time limit
  • Keep tightly to the schedule: use a loud sound or tingsha bells to signal the shift from one station to the next
  • Be very clear about the direction the groups should be moving in to shift from station to station in order to avoid confusion
  • Pick presenters by digging deep into the informal social networks (presentation skills and charisma are less important than content for this approach)
  • Invite presenters to tell stories that help the audience make the leap from understanding a small example of behavior change to seeing a broad change in values or a shift in resource allocation, or both
  • Invite presenters to supplement their presentations with examples and objects that participants can see and touch
  • Encourage presenters to entertain and engage the imagination of the audience
  • For orienting new members of a research consortium to the depth and breadth of innovations within the whole community
  • For introducing technology applications at a conference, mixing presenters from within the field with commercial vendors
  • For highlighting the programs and people from two “sides” of a newly merged organization

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