The right icebreaker can profoundly change the tone of a meeting. This is especially true in the early states of collective impact work, when the norms and culture of a partnership are still developing. Even when you are starting with a “coalition of the willing,” potential partners come to the table with independent agendas, professional titles, and assumptions about how the work of the partnership can and should unfold. Positive culture is an essential, and often underestimated, enabler of healthy, high-performing teams. A positive culture must be intentionally established and continuously nurtured because it is the binding agent of any recipe for change.
One simple, practical way to build culture is with well-chosen icebreakers at the start of every meeting. Icebreakers can be warm-up questions, mini-exercises, or fun activities.
There are many great icebreakers out there. To get you started, we have curated a few favorites from our colleagues and partners who are working in the field in the attached document. Learn more about Icebreakers including:
- Three Questions
- Human Knot
- Spirit Animal
- Worst Ideas
Read the Collective Impact #ToolBox: Icebreakers blog for more tips and ideas to think through your meeting.
A more in-depth resource we have also used and recommend is the the book: Moving Beyond Icebreakers: An Innovative Approach to Group Facilitation, Learning, and Action.