Product Specific

Introducing Images of Organisations

Metaphors for the experiences of working in teams and organisations

23rd February 2023

Introducing Images of Organisations
We are extremely excited to announcing our newest interactive virtual training activity - Images of Organisations. The Experiential Learning Tools team have been hard at work crafting an adaptable, modern implementation of a card based activities that has been designed from the ground up to be used for remote experiential learning training sessions.

What is Images of Organisations?

The Images of Organisations activity includes 16 carefully designed and selected images that have been drawn in an attractive cartoon style. The images represent a range of experiences and emotions, many of which will be familiar to anyone working in an organisation, sitting on a committee or attending regular meetings!

The images include strong, negative emotions, eg: frustration, confusion and isolation and very positive shared experiences, eg: the successful achievement of a challenging task, the satisfaction of working in a skilled and specialist team and the motivation of working in a competitive and stimulating environment.

The images are designed to be metaphors through which individuals and teams can explore organisational issues.

The cartoon style is accessible and people at all levels in organisations relate to the images and experiences depicted. This allows a ‘door’ to be opened into dialogue that might otherwise be too risky or challenging to be tackled directly.

This activity allows participants to independently select one or more images from the set in response to a question posed by the facilitator. Their choice isn't revealed to the other participants until the facilitator invites them to explain why they made their choice at which point their chosen images are revealed to all. Following the responses the facilitator can then show which cards were chosen in rank order.

This activity is ideally used as a session opener/ice-breaker, an aid to developing deeper dialogue around team and organisational development, team action planning, a review tool for other experiential activities, a coaching tool, and many other varied uses for goups of 1 to 50 x participants.

How it works

Images of Organisations has been designed to help facilitators generate meaningful discussions, helping participants articulate their feelings and develop their understanding. We do this with multiple 'stages' to the activity. This post gives an overview of an example use of our various stages with  some sample questions to identify team strengths and development areas.

Stage One: Pick your cards
In the first stage of Images of Organisations participants can select cards and add them to their hand. A paradigm that often works will is to ask each participant to select two cards from the deck.

A participant can choose as many cards (or as few) as they like however in our experience giving the boundary of choosing two focuses out participants into making choices that generate meaningful discussion.

Stage Two: Review the cards chosen by each member
Once we've given participants enough time to select their cards we can progress to Stage Two. Here the facilitator can put a participant "On Stage", this means the cards selected by the participant on stage are shown simultaneously to all other participants.

This opens a discussion into how the team can work towards more of the positive behaviours and fewer of the negative ones.

Stage Three: Wrap up
Our last stage allows us to reflect on the process holistically. In the third and final stage we show all cards and for each a count of how many times each one has been selected.

This is a great way to summarise the session, reflect and look forward.

Examples of how to use Image of Organisations
Images of Organisation is a versatile activity and can be used with as few as two participants and as many as fifty inside the one session. It can be applied in many ways. The Experiential Learning Tools team have collated some suggestions for how to use the activity in your organisation:

Try it out now
Book a demo of this (or any other virtual training activities) where a member of the Experiential Learning Tools team will give a 1:1 walk through of the activity for you (and if you like your colleagues). 

Alternatively we regularly do free webinars for all our activities. Keep an eye on our blog or social media accounts or join our mailing list to get updates on future events.

Graham Cook @experientialLT

Cofounder of Experiential Learning Tools

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