Windward & Lee

Windward & Lee


What is propelling us forward? What's holding us back?

Reading Time

3 mins

Activity time

20-45 mins

What is this for? This activity helps a group of people quickly align on key challenges (or opportunities) to focus on moving forward. Mindset and core principles It's important to have a sense of optimism and positivity, even when looking at many negative aspects. Other important aspects are a comfortable environment, a customer-perspective, and choosing "progress over perfection" to act more rapidly.



Step 1: Start with positives

  • Set a 5 min timer
  • Positives are like "wind in your sail"
  • In silence all the participants write multiple "things that are moving us forward" (one thought per sticky)
  • The facilitator reads them out loud quickly
    • This feels uplifting for the group and also helps the group to think of the opposing negative things e.g.:
      • Positive: "Skilled and enthusiastic team members" ➞ might help someone think of a negative, like "difficult to communicate & share information"

Step 2: Then the challenges

  • Set another 5 min timer
  • Challenges are more like "anchors, slowing us down"
  • The participants now write multiple negatives: "What is holding us back" (one thought per sticky) Facilitator does not read these out! Highlighting negatives can be demoralising and isn't as useful.

Step 3: Vote & Prioritize

  • Set a 5 min timer
  • Each group member gets 3 votes each
  • They can place those votes on the negative stickies (can put more than one vote on a single sticky, and can vote on their own stickies)
  • The facilitator then re-arranges the top voted stickies in order so they remain visible on the board for all to see

Practice it now

Use the sample board below to try out this activity.

Additional Resources

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