Clothesline for virtual meetings

The Clothesline is a tool used to develop group consensus on target setting.

In the physical environment, the clothesline is best achieved by an actual clothesline as described in Clothesline for target setting by consensus. However, this is not quite so easy in the virtual environment, and so the iFrame has been designed to create a graphical representation of what is happening.
In the virtual environment, the process begins by everybody typing in the target value they would set if they were choosing a target value in isolation. This generates a range of values, and the extremes can be taken to form the ends of a scale, within which people can place their ‘tokens’ (either their names, or photos or a symbol that represents them) to reflect their original proposed value – this occurs in the scale area down the left hand side of the iFrame.
People can then use the central and right hand areas of the iFrame to type in reasons for the target to be a particular value, higher or lower. This continues until all of the relevant arguments have been listed (and understood). People can move their token during the exercise to reflect new understanding from reading other people’s contributions, or they can wait to the end. Once all of the arguments have been submitted, people read these, ask questions on them and ensure that they are fully understood. The group agrees that since everybody now knows the arguments, the rest is largely opinion, and that consensus is to accept the majority viewpoint – and people then move their tokens a final time to arrive at a consensus (average) value.
You can download a PowerPoint template of the tool below.
The template can be uploaded to suitable meeting or collaboration software so that it can be used in virtual or asynchronous meetings.

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