What Moves Us

Spark Your Team Into Action Today

Use the Ripple Question

If anyone knows me or ISI Consulting, you know we take great pride in never (or almost never) doing the same thing with a group or organization. I don’t ever want to be considered a “one-trick pony” facilitator. That’s just unfair for everyone. It’s painful for a group who experienced that same activity a year ago to be forced to do it all again. And it would be just plain boring for me.

However, I have found myself using the same open-ended question for lots of groups lately and I’m not tired of it yet. And the groups I’ve used it with have found this question extremely helpful. So, what is it? “What conversation, if begun today, could ripple out and create new possibilities for the future of ___________?” That blank could be women leaders in higher education, philanthropic funders, dental hygienists…whatever! You fill in the blank, and then just let folks go. I promise you will be amazed and encouraged by what comes out of your group. The wisdom it needs is already present and accessible. What are you hearing? What contributions are emerging? What ideas are beginning to connect? What new possibilities are you noticing?

I encourage you to use the Ripple Question at your next team meeting, staff retreat, board meeting or even with your small group of confidants. This question alone can fill 30 minutes, or even an hour, of time with worthwhile discussion. To start, I like to have small groups (no more than 7 participants) wrestle with the question. Then I move to a medium-sized group (about 14 participants), before bringing all the themes together with the entire group. This ensures everyone’s voice is heard and helps keep the groups focused.

You don’t need to hire a consultant to help you start thinking strategically as a team. You simply need to carve out time and space for reflection. Then use the open-ended Ripple Question for your team to engage in, ponder over, and explore. But, hey…if you do need a consultant to help get your team back on track or moving forward to the next level, I can help with that, too. Give me a call today, and let’s make a plan.

Holly Hayes

Holly Hayes, President & Founder
ISI Consulting