Great quarterbacks call audible plays. Facilitators can, too!

As football season gets underway, I am reminded of the similarities between the role a Quarterback plays on a football team and the role a Creative Facilitator plays in marketing projects.

Just like Creative Facilitators, Quarterbacks prepare to lead their team by learning a playbook. Quarterbacks also have to read situations in real time and make adjustments to get the desired outcome. Adjusting the play in the moment to accommodate changing circumstances is referred to as "calling an audible."

As a Creative Facilitator, you often play the role of Quarterback during the session. Not only do you prepare with your agent and client before game time, you manage the creative process and the list of ideas in real time.

Sometimes, in spite of preparation, a change in conditions may require you to make adjustments in the moment. The marketing objective might not be quite right or the marketing facts might be a little lean. Perhaps the idea list doesn't have the variety you'd like or the client seems disengaged. Whatever the reason, you can "call an audible" in the moment!

Try one of these techniques the next time your instincts tell you to call an audible.

  1. Call a timeout! Invite the resource group to take 10-15 minutes out of the room.
  • Confirm the marketing objective or key facts with the client and agent.
  • Review the idea list and think about detours that would help add variety to the list.
  1. Handoff the marker! Ask participants to write ideas on their own so you can catch your breath.
  • Offer a detour and ask participants to list three ideas on scratch paper. Invite each person to add one of their ideas to the list.
  • Ask participants to review the idea list and write a fresh idea on a sticky note. Invite them to post the sticky notes on the idea list. (Remember to number the sticky notes as part of the idea list.)


Contact Coach K for more audible plays for your sessions.