Henri Lipmanowicz and Keith McCandless use the term “liberating structures” to summarize 33 “microstructures” that enable a high degree of participation in innovation processes. These focus on active collaboration in teams and organizations. Any group of any size can enhance these measures with a range of creativity methods and exercises. However, the different techniques should be modified or improved based on need and context. “1, 2, 4, all”, for example, is a problem-solving exercise that raises the group size in three steps and helps to generate questions, ideas, and suggestions.
“Liberating Structures” is available on the internet, as a mobile app, and in book form. Using this tool requires no particular expertise.
Liberating structures helps managers and staff in the field of research & development to create an inclusive and creative working environment. All participants are equally involved in the activities and encouraged to think outside the box. Thus, the use of these techniques helps to develop the potential of heterogeneously composed teams. In the long term, the “Liberating Structures” tool fosters inclusive innovation and a trusting workplace culture.