Workshop Exercises: Goals


Discover and organize the steps to achieve a specific goal

Illustration of GROW
Run a GROW play

Timing: Discovery

Origin: Sir John Whitmore

Prep time
10 minutes

Run time
60 minutes

Group size

Why: Sharpen your objective, heighten self-awareness, identify opportunities, and create a plan to harvest them

When: Useful to turn challenges into goals and for improving performance or productivity

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Prepare the workshop. On a whiteboard or large surface, create four sections labeled: Goal, Reality, Options, and Will (GROW).
  2. Agree on a goal. Conduct a 3-5 minute Silent Storm exercise writing one proposed goal per sticky note. Find similarities with Affinity Mapping and do Blind Voting to find the one winner. Write it in the Goal section. Discuss:
    • Is the goal specific? How will we track progress?
    • Who is responsible?
    • Is it realistic?
    • When should it be achieved?
  3. Reality. Understand your current situation. Repeat the process for the Reality section. Answer the following questions on post its:
    • What’s happening now?
    • Who’s involved?
    • What’s the impact?
    • What steps have been taken towards the goal?
    • Are there any conflicting goals?
  4. Options (or obstacles). Explore possible solutions using an ideation technique like 3-12-3 Brainstorm or the Crazy Eights exercise. Post the most viable ideas in the Options section. Good trigger questions are:
    • What if constraints were removed?
    • What should be stopped to reach the goal? 
  5. Will (or way forward). Decide on which options to action using Dot Voting. Use the Who/What/When exercise to assign responsibility, define the task, and set a timeline. Write the actions in the ‘Will’ section.

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