I was facilitating a full-day Leadership Summit at the Agile Development conference in Orlando in November.

There were ~70 leaders in the room and I wanted to surface their expectations for the summit so that everyone could understand the most important topics to the entire group.

I decided to do an exercise called “The 1-Thing” in homage to the movie City Slickers. I asked each table group to:

  • Pick a facilitator;
  • Have each table member write down the 1-thing they would like to learn from the workshop. I.e., their #1 challenge, question, or interesting topic;
  • Then the facilitator would collect all of the 1-things from their tables;
  • Next, each facilitator would read all of the 1-things;
  • Finally, we discussed as a group, the major themes we heard. We found about 10 compelling themes to keep an eye on.

Wrapping up

I gave 10 minutes for mining the 1-things and then ~10 minutes for group sharing, and ~5 minutes for theming. All-in-all, it took ~ 25 minutes.

But throughout the day the speakers and the discussions kept referring back to the 1-things to ensure that everyone’s were at least touched throughout the day.

I think it was a great way to align a group's highest priority learning goals and make them transparent. And it helped keep our focus on achieving something for everyone. So, I thought I’d share the exercise.

Here's a video snippet from the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOjV_YTSp0I

Stay agile my friends,