If Your Business Were a Shoe, What Would It Be?

free activities Dec 02, 2020

Activity Aim

The aim of this activity is to allow participants an opportunity to discuss how they see their business, department, team or other issues based upon using a shoe as a metaphor. We all wear shoes so this activity can easily be related to by every participant.


Participants should choose a shoe that they believe represents their business, department or team based upon their interpretation of how they see the shoe they choose, its characteristics and how these relate to their business. You can interchange the focus word to represent the issues under discussion.

For example, a Nike trainer is chosen because it represents the team's agile response to customer enquiries, it's stylish and contemporary, it's relaxing to be in and does what is expected of it.

Setting Up the Activity

  1. Provide images of various types and styles of shoes and other footwear. I suggest a selection of between 12 and 20. Either print these off and hand them out, stick them to a pinboard, or project images of the selection to a screen. Here is a great site for selecting royalty free images that you can use any way you want without attributing the source. We have created an image below for you that you can also use.
  2. Ask the participants to choose a shoe that represents whatever issue you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the participant's team, ask them to choose a shoe that represents their team. "If our team were a shoe what would it be?"
  3. Tell them to be ready to explain the choice they have made.
  4. They can either chose as individuals, pairs or triads.
  5. Ask them to consider how their choice relates to both positive characteristics as well as any limitations or negative attributes.
  6. Allow them 10 - 15 minutes to select their shoe and make a few notes about their rationale for choosing it. 
  7. Once delegates have had their 10 - 15 minutes, start a discussion and ask everyone to explain their choice. Make any relevant notes on a flipchart for further exploration and discussion.


Set up: 5 minutes.

Brief in the activity: 5 minutes.

Activity: 10 - 15 minutes.

Feedback: 15 minutes.


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