The Speed Boat of Heroes


I go back to my team alignment day in which I decided to do a Speed Boat – a well-known metaphorical workshop in the community – which is both effective and generally rather fun for the participants. Having discovered "The Hero's Journey", also a metaphorical coaching tool, I tried the experience of combining the two to bring more weight to Story Telling and thus to the projection of the team in its adventure. Here is a return! 🙂

Who are you, hero?


The first step of the Speed Boat is to embark the crew on the boat to start the metaphor. Some people start with an already drawn boat and don't necessarily pay much attention to it. In my case, on the contrary, I found it necessary to give it an identity and specific characteristic to be able to better transport the participants.

I then drew on a blank paperboard sheet horizontally, a simple blue line symbolizing water and then I started:

You have embarked on a boat to live a new adventure together. You then form a new crew… but who are you anyway? What does your boat look like? Where are you? What are you doing ?

Unsurprisingly, the first step was the hardest. I then proposed to draw a first platform on the water (resembling a black rectangle) which surprisingly made it possible to launch the machine.

The interest on my side is to observe two things:

  • Where does everyone position themselves (hierarchical position?)
  • How does each person represent themselves (particular role or responsibility?)

Finally, to reinforce the identity aspect of the representation, I ask:

What is the name of your boat?

After a few exchanges, a name is affixed to the hull of their boat. It is placed at the front of the boat and seems to set the tone for team dynamics.

What would you like to be proud of achieving?


Now that the team had materialized as a crew, it was time to see if they aligned with their goals and motivations.

You cross the ocean looking straight ahead in the hope of reaching that sunny island, where the treasures you seek are hidden. What is this destination you want to reach? What are these treasures you want to get?

I suggest that everyone send out between 1 and 3 Post-its representing what he or she would like to achieve. 1 minimum to encourage reflection, 3 to limit the number of results: indeed, the objective is not to go into details but rather to see the distribution of the different ideas.

Thus, after a few minutes of individual reflection, everyone comes to place their result on the poster. I then invite them to share the content of their Post-its and to group them together when they correspond to the same idea or to a similar idea. We can then see that the team is rather aligned on its objectives by seeing the large block of similar ideas.

What resources are you going with?


After the destination, I enjoy talking about the good things and therefore the strengths of the team.

You left the mainland in search of this destination. What resources did you leave with? What are these buoyant winds that help you move towards your goal?

Same expression format as before. We can also see that the team seems rather aligned on its motivations and its resources to move forward, which seems to me to be a good sign for the future.

What are the risks that you foresee?


Finally, after having defined the destination elements, the resources with which the team set off on the adventure, it was time to state the risks that everyone sensed in order to be able to better anticipate them.

On your way, you know that the unpredictable can surprise you and damage the hull of your boat or even injure your crew. What are these storms that could tear your sails? Those icebergs that could damage your hull? Those sharks that could threaten your crew?

As the saying goes: “Never two without three”, same process for this part. We then see that the risks are more shared, which may seem consistent in the sense that different professions are represented and therefore impacted differently. However, groupings are still emerging and will be subjects to keep in mind in the context of support.


For the connoisseurs of the workshop, you will probably correct me by saying: “But you forgot a step, didn't you? Where are the anchors that slow the boat down? », and you would be right. It just turns out that I carried out a Consensus Workshop on the sources of dissatisfaction and frustration of the team just before, in order to be able to bring out the needs of the team and give meaning to their transformation process. Thus, I voluntarily skipped the stage of the anchors which, in my opinion, would have been duplicated.

For my part, I really enjoyed leading this workshop in this way. The fact of not centralizing everything on a single Poster pushes the participants to move, which for me is an additional asset of focus. Now, Story Telling remains something that I still have to practice but its power is no longer to be proven.

And you, how do you animate your Speed Boat? 🙂

Some references


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Olivier MY

Olivier MY

Trained as an engineer and passionate about people, I quickly turned to the world of Agile coaching and Professional coaching. Today, I support individuals, teams and organizations towards creating value adapted to the constraints and challenges of today's world. I am committed to contributing to the professionalization of the profession, in particular through detailed feedback and inspirations highlighting the importance of an open, curious and respectful posture.


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