Draw Toast

2-40 people

The Draw Toast exercise is a great way to introduce individuals to the concepts of visual thinking, mental models, working memory, and systems thinking. This workshop encourages people to engage with each other and think visually. It's an excellent mapping exercise that focuses on building a systems model to tackle important challenges such as clarifying your vision, improving cash flow, or identifying the next bold challenge. Plus, it's a fun activity!

Workshop steps


Get Ready Gather the necessary materials: felt markers, thick paper, sticky notes or index cards, and masking tape. Set up your space with tables, chairs, and an empty wall to display your work. Ensure there's ample space for everyone to view each other's creations.


Send an Invitation When you invite participants, make it clear that the meeting will concentrate on creating a systems model for a significant issue, such as refining your vision, enhancing cash flow, or identifying the next big challenge. Start with a straightforward design activity.


Execute Hold the meeting casually. Distribute markers and paper to all participants and request them to illustrate the process of making toast. Allocate 2-3 minutes for this task. Consider playing some toast-making tunes...


Consider Ask everyone to display their drawings for everyone to view. (Enjoy the laughter) Request the group to put their drawings on a spacious wall area and discuss the drawings; identifying the simple and intricate ones, and noting the ones with people and those without.


Watch the TED DrawToast video to learn about the key concepts of systems thinking. Once it's finished, discuss with the group the number of nodes they created and their types.


Create Your Visual Challenge Ask participants to individually draw a visual representation of how they can enhance their group project. This can cover a wide range of aspects, both strategic and tactical. Refer to the 'Draw Questions' for ideas. For example: Tactical -What is your core offering? -How can you impress your customers? -What makes you unique and competitive? -Where should you focus your resources for growth? -What values do you represent? -How can you monitor and evaluate success? Strategic -How do you add value to your current business operations? -What strategies do you use to increase value? Why? -How can you attract a larger and better clientele? -What methods can you employ to adapt to change more effectively? -How can your team collaborate more efficiently? Ensure that everyone draws individually and quietly.


Collaborate Gather individuals at tables to display and discuss their diagrams. Examine and differentiate the diagrams, identifying similarities and differences. Determine which links and nodes are frequently shared.


System When possible, gather the group to create a systems diagram for tackling challenges using sticky notes and drawn connections. Utilize previous individual diagrams and form teams of 4-6 people to develop nodes and links that address the challenges effectively.


Contemplate Allocate time to ponder on the outcomes. Consider these contemplation prompts (or create your own): What is visible? What do you perceive? What is developing? What should we cease doing? What should we initiate doing? By what deadline? Anything else? Utilize the Who/What/When Matrix if you've pinpointed actionable tasks.

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Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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