Tabletop exercises are used in many organizations to test a hypothetical situation. In brief, tabletops pretend something is true then focus resources to solve the created problem.

For example, an oil drilling company may ask, “If there was a category 5 hurricane heading our way and we had 48 hours to prepare, what’s our plan?”

Tabletops clarify roles, validate training, measure improvements, and test procedural changes.

They also work for the individual.

Instead of a hurricane, let’s pretend something else is true. Something you really want. What’s your biggest goal right now in life?

Let’s pretend the goal is to quit your job and sail around the world for a year. (Don’t like boats? Feel free to use your own method of travel for this tabletop.)

Ask yourself, “What would have to be true for me to quit in August of 2019 and sail for one year?”

  • You’d need a year of living expenses. How much would that be? How could you earn or save that amount?
  • You’d need access to a boat (rented, bought or borrowed).
  • You’d need to learn to sail. Where could you get lessons?
  • You’d need charts and a plan for circumnavigation.

When you pose the right question, your mind fills in the rest.

You can use this one technique to simplify a process (What would have to be true to accomplish this project in 20% of the allotted time?); to earn a huge promotion (What would have to be true for me to be the top performer and most qualified member of this organization?); and even to change your life (What would have to be true for me to live in Fiji in 2019?).

What will you tabletop?


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