Engagement Strategies: Rotating Flipchart Review

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    Facilitators often use breakout groups to increase involvement and get more done in a short amount of time. However, following breakout groups, there is typically a report-back process. During the report-back, each team presents its results to the other teams. Yet, one of the challenges with the standard report-back process is that people generally are not as attentive to what other teams are saying: some people may be still preparing their own report-back; while others may feel little obligation to give quality feedback, given the number of other people in the room.

    Over the years, I have adopted a different process for report-back that I call rotating review. I believe the process is quite effective for achieving quality feedback on the work of breakout groups.

    During a rotating review, each team has three-to-five minutes to review another team’s work. Using a colored pen assigned specifically to that reviewing team, the team places a check mark on each item to indicate agreement. They indicate disagreement by placing an “X” and posting a comment on how to improve. After the time limit is reached, teams then rotate to the next chart and perform the same review, while also reviewing the comments of all past reviewers of that chart.

    When the teams rotate back to their own flip charts, they will see multiple check marks in different colors to indicate those teams that agree with each item in their report. They will also see where disagreement resulted and the number of teams that concurred with that disagreement. The teams now review all the disagreements and indicate whether they agree (YES) or disagree (NO) with the written comment. At this point, all NOs are reviewed by the entire group and final decisions made.

    The rotating review process allows each team to receive focused review from each of the other teams. This process also increases the participation and ownership of the entire work by all members. And surprisingly, the rotating review process takes about the same amount of time as the standard report-back process!

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    For more resources, see the Library topic Facilitation.

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    Michael Wilkinson is the CEO and Managing Director of Leadership Strategies, Inc., “The Facilitation Company” and author of the brand new “The Secrets of Facilitation 2nd Edition”, “The Secrets to Masterful Meetings”, and the brand new “The Executive Guide to Facilitating Strategy.” Leadership Strategies is a global leader in facilitation services, providing companies with dynamic professional facilitators who lead executive teams and task forces in areas like strategic planning, issue resolution, process improvement and others. They are also a leading provider of facilitation training in the United States.