Green Storming is a slightly modified version of a process that Thomas gleaned from reading about a California think tank a long time ago. It's a great way to engage a group of keen and thoughtful individuals who are striving to achieve excellence. It offers a number of benefits:
- Everyone gets to participate
- Discussion is varied and fast moving
- No one gets to dominate the conversation
- Everyone is heard
- New thoughts are inspired
- Group reflection is synthesized
The process requires:
- masking tape
- a flip chart or white board
- a cell phone with a timer
- and lots of bright ideas
The room must be set up so that everyone can easily get up and walk to the board while others are presenting. This is critical so as to not disrupt the speaker. The process begins as soon as you arrive at the event. Take a marker and put your name on the speaker list - followed by a "headline" that describes your talk. Once the session gets underway, you will be given two minutes to make your presentation. (you can vary this to suit your group but for most, two minutes is a lot of time)
The timekeeper will time your talk and you must stop when the buzzer goes off to show your respect for the others in the room. You can however go back up to the board and put your name on the speakers list again if you have more information to add or if some other talk has triggered a new thought you would like to share.
The same holds true for anyone in the audience. If a talk or presentation triggers a thought or idea, you are encouraged to immediately go to the speakers list and add your name - followed by a headline. If your idea is in the form of a question, you can allocate your two minutes to seeking feedback from the group. In that case pose your "headline" as a question (?) so people have a chance to think about it.
This process can become very exciting and intense, filled with sparks of inspiration and the thrill of group learning and exploration. It leaves little room for those boring two or three way conversations that often dominate unstructured meetings and still it allows the free-flow of ideas without the limitations set by agendas.
In SGI this process has been employed successfully by our Green Media Group, our Events Team and most recently by our Vision Committee. You can review how Michael Strumberger led that workshop here.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org