Create an Answer Gallery at Your Next Retreat

Creating an “Answer Gallery” is one of the easiest and most effective law firm retreat exercises I use — and as a bonus, it fits perfectly between sessions or at the beginning of the day as the attendees arrive.

The goal of the exercise is simple: ┬áto engage attendees and get them thinking about the topics of the day as they answer “big” questions anonymously.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Post dozens of large, easel-sized post-it notes around the room.
  2. Write a single, open-ended question on the top of each one.
  3. Give each participant a Sharpie fine-point marker (regular pens make it hard for others to read the notes) and a 3×3 pad of colored post-it notes.
  4. Ask everyone to walk around the room and answer the questions on the small post-it notes and then stick their answers on the big question page.
  5. Photograph or transcribe all of the answers and share them with the group once the event is over.

And here’s what the final result can look like:

Worksheet: How to Create an Answer Gallery

2 Responses to Create an Answer Gallery at Your Next Retreat
  1. Jack Vinson
    July 7, 2011 | 5:52 am

    Interesting! Can you provide some sample questions / topics that have engaged people? (And maybe some that haven’t worked so well.)

  2. Matt Homann
    July 19, 2011 | 9:56 am

    Jack, the key is to have open ended questions (like “if I ran this firm for a day, the first thing I’d do is …” and “Our biggest challenges in the next decade are …” or even “We’d be a more inclusive and diverse firm if we …”) that can be answered in just a few words on a post-it note. The exercise doesn’t work if you need the answers to be too long.

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