Flash Mob Coaching

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This article is about how to run a flash mob coaching approach that may be appropriate for a number of teams or a large body of people to be coached at once with the topics that are of most interest to them.

The approach centers on the needs of the attendees and matching those needs with the available skills of the coaches, as well as their own interests in an Open Space setting.


  • Bell
  • Index Cards
  • Sharpies
  • Blu Tack
  • Flip chart paper
  • Timer
  • Discussion space poster
  • Paper, laptops or notebooks
  • Open Space posters


  • Tables should be arranged in pod style seating with several discussion areas marked for discussion with the discussion space posters.
  • An agenda wall or market place should be viewable and accessible by a number of people, and should have the discussion spaces and session times marked as with an Open Space approach.
  • Open Space posters should be positioned around the room for reference
  • A wiki page created to capture the findings if using laptops, or flip chart paper can be used instead.


  • Timings for the sessions are dependent upon the amount of time available for the workshop, however, topic discussions will need at least 20 minutes to be effective with 5 minutes change over time. Hence, for a session that has 1.5 hours, then there may only be 3 x sessions possible within the time available.
  • Opening Circle, Dot Voting and the Market Place may take 30 mins at least to complete for a 2 hour workshop.
  • Closing Circles can be variable and will need at least 15 mins for a 2 hour workshop timeframe.

Workshop Flow


Activity Description Notes
Opening Circle The opening circle welcomes the attendees to the session and sets the scene for the workshop, such as the Open Space principles and the Law of Two Feet.
Topics Encourage the attendees to create topics for discussion If using pre-seeded topics, then it is probably good to still provide the opportunity for the attendees to add their own topic as well the to the list to ensure that everything is relevant and in the moment.
Dot Voting Dot voting with 3 votes each can be done quite quickly to determine which of the discussion topics are of high interest to the teams and will need a coach to help them with


Activity Description Notes
Market Place The audience are encouraged to view the agenda, make any agreements and adjustments and to determine which sessions that they will attend. From a flash mob coaching approach, it is good to get an agreement with the visiting coaches that at least one coach attends each of the discussions

Concrete Practice

Activity Description Notes
Session Discussion A session is started with the topics agreed upon in the Agenda in the spaces that they have been placed. Discussions are encouraged and notes are expected to be taken and findings recorded for future reference. Actions are best and may well be carried forwards as a source for retrospective improvements for the teams. When the session time expires then notify the group that a new session and new topics have begun. The Law of Two Feet and the Open Space principles apply to the sessions.


Activity Description Notes
Closing Circle Review the findings and observations from the whole group as a closing circle. When this is done, then finish the session