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Liberating Structures' Purpose to Practice

Purpose-to-practice (P2P) is an engagement tool that helps stakeholders collaborate to plan a future initiative. The group first generates a shared statement of purpose. The group then brainstorms ideas about five additional issues important for a successful initiative —principles, participants, structure, and practices—keeping in mind the shared purpose. Thinking about multiple elements all in relation to the initiative’s purpose is intended to help participants develop more comprehensive and coherent plans for launching and sustaining their initiative.

far fa-dollar-sign fa-sm Budget (e.g. personnel, space, equipment) Low Medium High far fa-user-clock Time per interaction I expect to engage stakeholders for... An hour or less Half a day A full day far fa-calendar-check Number of interactions I expect to interact with stakeholders... 1-2 times Appx. 5 times 10+ times Engagement Purposes far fa-scrubber Identify and explore new perspectives or understanding far fa-scrubber Identify which topics are most important to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Select outcomes and measures that matter to stakeholders far fa-scrubber Expand and diversify stakeholder outreach far fa-scrubber Investigate best ways to successfully implement a study, based on stakeholder insights far fa-scrubber Design strategies for translating research into practice far fa-clock Time Frame

2 hours

fal fa-tasks-alt Workload LIGHT MEDIUM HEAVY
Appropriate Applications More useful for: far fa-scrubber Early stage projects still developing structures and practices far fa-scrubber Engaging a large number of stakeholders far fa-scrubber Allowing everyone an equal opportunity to contribute far fa-scrubber Structuring group conversation far fa-scrubber Promoting consensus building far fa-scrubber Innovation far fa-scrubber Idea generation far fa-scrubber Encouraging creativity Less useful for: far fa-scrubber Late stage projects with well-established structures, processes, goals, etc. far fa-scrubber Gaining information to be used at the individual level far fa-scrubber Expecting findings generalizable to the larger population Key Characteristics Resources Needed fas fa-money-bill-waveMoney far fa-scrubber Incentives for participants far fa-scrubber Refreshments for participants far fa-scrubber Space far fa-scrubber Costs associated with participant recruitment fas fa-paperclipMaterials and Resources far fa-scrubber Chairs and small tables for people to work in groups of 4 far fa-scrubber A large wall with poster paper for recording the P2P result for each element far fa-scrubber Five worksheets (1 for each of the P2P elements) for each participant far fa-scrubber Refreshments for participants fas fa-usersPersonnel far fa-scrubber Facilitator far fa-scrubber Note taker(s) How To Invite all or most stakeholders to participate in the design of their new initiative with the goal of specifying five essential elements for a successful initiative: purpose, principles, participants, structure, and practices. Introduce the idea of P2P, the five elements, and related questions, and hand out blank worksheets. (5 min) Begin with the first element, Purpose, by asking the question: “Why is this initiative/project/program important to you and the larger community?” Generating ideas and stories for Purpose. (30 min)
  1. Silent self-reflection by individuals on a shared challenge, framed as a question (e.g., What opportunities do YOU see for making progress on this challenge? How would you handle this situation? What ideas or actions do you recommend?) (10 min)
  2. In groups of four, compare, sort, and expand on the top ideas. (10 min)
  3. As a whole group, integrate themes and finalize ideas for Purpose (10 min)
Move to the remaining P2P elements, in turn, repeating the three steps above. Be prepared to go back and revise previous elements as needed. Use the following questions to guide the development of the next four elements:
  1. Principles: “What rules must we follow to succeed in achieving our purpose?”
  2. Participants: “Who can contribute to achieving our purpose and must be included?”
  3. Structure: “How must we organize and distribute control to achieve our purpose?”
  4. Practices: “What are we going to do? What will we offer to our stakeholders and how will we do it?”
After each element, ask, “Has this element shed new light that suggests revisions to previous elements?” (5 min) From
Notes Multiple sessions spread out over weeks or even months may be required. Tips “Structure” usually is the element that requires the most imagination. It can be difficult for people to envision options apart from top-down control. Using metaphors and visual representations can help draw out creative designs to achieve distributed control. Keep rounds on schedule and when more time is needed, do two rounds. Variations When integrating all five elements for a project is too much, just do the one or two design elements that seem most important Examples References / Other Resources

The Stakeholder Engagement Navigator is a service of the Data Science to Patient Value Initiative at the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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