STEP ONE. 5 min. Gather your team around a table or shared space. Put the Practice cards aside, and begin with the Tension cards in front of you.

STEP TWO. 30 min. As a group, consider and discuss each tension in the deck and select the top 5-7 tensions for your team or organization. Devise your own method for review and prioritization. Be creative. Take care to ensure all voices are heard. Discard all but your top tension cards for future rounds of play.

STEP THREE. 15 min. Take turns drawing one card at a time from the practice deck and either a) pair it with a tension it may help address, or b) discard it face up. Discuss and debate your choices as you make them. Feel free to pair more than one practice with any one tension. For more information about the practices explore the gallery below.

STEP FOUR. 5 min. Ask each participant to choose a tension they’d like to address. If two or more participants select the same tension they can work together.

STEP FIVE. 30-45 min. Ask each sub-team to design an experiment based on the tension they selected, the associated practices, and their own intuition. Allow ample time for experiment design. Encourage everyone to start small.

STEP SIX. Invite each sub-team to propose their experiment and seek the consent (not to be confused with consensus) of the broader group. Proposals that are deemed safe to try by the group require no further approval. The sub-team should commit to a first action for moving the experiment forward, and the results should be shared transparently in real-time. Congratulations, work will never be the same again.


TENSION. What is your tension? Share a story that brings it to life.

PRACTICE. What do you propose we try? What is your hypothesis?

PARTICIPANTS. Who will be involved? What are they committing to?

DURATION. How long will the experiment last? When will you conduct a retrospective to collect perspectives and learning?

LEARNING METRICS. How will we know if it was beneficial or harmful? What stories do you hope to hear?

REQUIREMENTS. What do you need in order to conduct the experiment, in terms of resources, space, supplies, support, and funding?

Criteria for a good experiment

✅ Can be done in 8 weeks or less

✅ Is within your control

✅ Is financially and culturally safe to try

✅ Addresses a shared tension from the tension card sort while not necessarily solving it

✅ Tests some kind of actual change in the organization (as opposed to creating a plan)


If you looked at any practice and wondered, “What does this even mean?”, you’re not alone. We linked an article (either written by us or others) that elaborates on the practice. Click on the practice you want to learn more about.


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