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Southwest Model Draw

Southwest Model Draw


<5 minutes

Purpose/Objectives - Quick Description

Teach your team to draw upon the power of good strategic models and how it can turn an idea in your head into one that everyone can see, understand, and hopefully buy into.



For this exercise, ask the players what they think you are drawing at the end of each step for steps 1-7.

On a flipchart:

  • Draw a small circle on the top center of the page.
  • Draw another small circle to the lower left of the first circle. (don’t forget to keep asking the participants what it is… if you have done it a few times, it is good to write what they say down) 
  • Draw a third circle to create to the lower right so that it looks like the corners of an equilateral triangle.
  • Draw a line connecting two of the circles. 
  • Draw another line connecting two circles.
  • Draw a third line connecting the remaining to circles.
  • Write DAL, HOU, and SAT next to each circle. 
  • Discuss the Southwest business model and how it evolved from a quick visualization on the back of a napkin.




flipchart or white board and markers

Cool Possibilities/Options

  • You can compare the southwest model to the more complex airline models of the day to illustrate how simple and effective it was.


5 - 15 minutes, airline, audience education, business model, exercise, front of the room, simplifying models, Southwest, strategic modeling



What’s a Maker?



  1. A simple exercise two or more people can do to develop a stronger relationship
  2. A way to avoid endless talk about being busy and the weather
  3. A catalyst to communities that can make an impact

Often times mistaken as an ‘icebreaker’ or ‘exercise’