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Macro-Strategy Tug of War

Topic

Direct Action iconDirect ActionOrganizing & Strategy iconOrganizing & StrategyTeam Building iconTeam Building

Language

English

Type

Training Tool

How to Lead

This exercise is designed to embolden the imagination and enlarge possibilities, politicize everyone regarding macro-forces in a dynamic way and to explore how the forces “out there” can be influenced by your group and allies.

The basic format is a tug of war, with rope which has multiple ends knotted in middle. Small teams are created, half of which identify a negative force in your group’s environment and half identify a positive force. These can be negative and positive forces acting right now and likely to act in the near future. As each team identifies a force, it takes its place on positive or negative side of tug of war.

Then, action!

After one side wins, teams huddle; negative force teams ask selves how their power could be under-mined; positive force teams ask selves how their power could be enhanced.

Each team writes its conclusions.

All teams report to the whole the two most important ways (of enhancing or undermining).

Harvest learnings via newsprint.

NOTE: When pulling, there’s a lot of pressure on the ropes. Make sure you have very strong, thick ropes — otherwise, it’ll SNAP!

Where this tool comes from

Based on Kurt Lewin’s Force Field Analysis
George Lakey, Training for Change.

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