Creating a team manifesto with a workshop everyone will remember

November 24, 2020

The design department of a well-known organisation came to us for help with creating a team manifesto.  It was a chance for them to spend a day thinking about what they wanted to do and how they wanted to go about it.  

Creating a team manifesto would help them:  

  • Talk about themselves in a consistent way to others in the organisation
  • Periodically check they're on course
  • Induct and orient new team members
  • Reflect on and build a united design culture

We'd seen plenty of manifestos before that ended up stored in a dusty corner of a server and forgotten about, no matter how well-produced they were. We wanted to give our clients something that they'd remember creating and continue to care about.  We also wanted to make sure it would get used regularly in order to have an impact.  

As the organisation were involved in making games - we decided to turn their team manifesto into one. Monopoly seemed a good fit, as it could include all the different elements of a manifesto, so a rough plan was drawn up...  


The more we got into it, the more we realised that Monopoly was actually the perfect format. We then spent some time devising the exercises that would fill the different parts of the board, before creating a giant Monopoly board in our office, naturally.  

On the day of the workshop, we took the clients through the various exercises. For example, 'The worst candidate' involved teams trying to hire the worst possible person to join them.  

We took the most unacceptable behaviours from that interview and turned them into the 'Go to Jail', 'Income tax' and 'Super tax' squares. Other sections of the board fell conveniently into place - Monopoly is the name of the original game but it's also the aim. So we had an exercise to come up with the team's aim.  

Utilities were turned into behaviours that should be 'always on' in everyone, just like water and electricity. Properties were design methods (reached via an exercise involving hooking rubber ducks out of a paddling pool whilst blindfolded, obviously) and stations became actions that would enable the team to reach their destination.  

It was a lot of fun, but more importantly, memorable. We rounded off the day by playing the game out on the completed board.  


 We also made sure that it would be used by actually making the board afterwards. This means that the team can now check into their manifesto regularly.  

They can place houses and hotels on squares where they feel they are making progress.  

They can address bad behaviours.  


And have a visible, striking reminder of their manifesto that's far removed from a Word doc in a forgotten folder.

Get in touch to tell us about your challenge and we'll see how we can help.

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