When in doubt, map it out? Hey, it worked for Matt Moore at actKM 2009, a knowledge management conference. After hitting the wall on a few other ideas on how to make his session more interactive, he says:
Then the thought struck me. Get the participants to draw maps. So that’s what I did. Six tables, six maps. In each case I asked them to map out knowledge management as an imaginary nation and then identify who else this nation might interact with (through trade, war or something else).
The results were really interesting, and made me wish that someone would do something like this for sessions I go to. Johnnie Moore, who I got the link to Matt's post from, adds,
I have sometimes found getting people to express their ideas through a medium or metaphor seems to unleash more refreshing, often less refined/polite ideas and observations. It's as if it bypasses some of our defenses against stepping into riskier territory.
And then goes on to tell what happened when he used a similar technique for a meeting he was facilitating. It's fascinating.