A jolt is a quick training activity that can be conducted in less that 3 minutes to dramatically demonstrate an important learning point. Here’s a jolt that emphasizes “out of sight is out of mind”. I have used it as an alternative to the iceberg metaphor.
Distribute the supplies. Give a sheet of paper and a pencil to each participant.
Give instructions. Ask the participants to draw a tree on the sheet of paper. Explain that the drawing can be realistic or abstract.
Announce a time limit. The drawing must be completed within 45 seconds.
Conclude the activity. At the end of 45 seconds, ask the participants to exchange the picture of the tree with each other.
Look for the roots. Ask the participants to raise their hand if the picture shows roots. You are likely to find that most do not include the root system.
Present the learning points. Use your own words:
- All of your trees likely have trunks and branches and leaves. But most of them do not have roots.
- So, what is holding up the trees without the root system? How do your trees get water and nutrition?
- Do you agree that the root system is an important part of a tree? Why did you leave out the root system? Was it because you usually don’t see the roots?
Extrapolate from the experience. Ask the participants to suggest other things people habitually ignore just because these important support elements are not visible. Relate this experience to our perception of Culture.