Describe why teams are often used in problem solving. Ask if people have other examples of why or when groups should be used. Ask if people have examples of why or when groups should NOT be used.
Describe effective group problem solving.
Since this is the initial statement of the problem, task, opportunity, or challenge, it is critical that the wording be carefully planned. The leader's responsibility to provide a concise, action-oriented statement that focuses the team's energies, and this should have been worked out prior to the problem solving session Word the problem statement in a &quot;how to&quot; format. For example, carefully wording the problem statement will invite the participants to problem solve and generate ideas rather that merely give opinions or get involved in a general bull session Identification of the headline should take into consideration several issues: Does the group have the ability to implement decisions in this area? Is this headline sufficiently limited so that workable solutions can be found? Global headlines - - or problem statements that are so broad that they realistically require more than one session - - should be avoided Is this statement of the problem the real issue of concern or is it merely the tip of the iceberg? Generally, the group should attempt to address the underlying causes rather that just the by-products of a larger dilemma.
The leader provides the relevant facts and activities that led to the problem statement. Don't assume the resources are focussed on the same issues, the leader should define the key terms Paraphrase to assure understanding and clarity of terms and the parameters of scope of the problem or opportunity the team is working If there are any constraints on the scope of the problem or possible solutions, the leader should clearly state these to the team. However, the leader should attempt to limit the number of constraints to provide for the best possible solution The background should include prior actions or approaches that have already been considered and/or tried. Statement of this nature prevent the resources from &quot;reinventing the wheel&quot; and running the risk of having their solutions rejected The leader should include a motivating statement of the benefits and/or outcomes desired as a result of the session. The facilitator should re-emphasize that while the leader is providing the background, the resources should be practicing active listening and note-taking.
If there is a critical concern then the group will address the concern by recycling back through the PS/TB process If there is no critical concern then the group moves on to the action plan step
The facilitator is the keeper of the process. The person in this role is focused not on the specific content of the meeting (i.e.., what is being discussed), but rather on the process of the meeting (i.e.., how it is being discussed). It is often difficult to focus on content and process at the same time. That is why we have a dedicated facilitator when we are working complex or controversial issues. The facilitator makes it “safe” … he/she makes sure that everyone is allowed to participate, that no idea is discounted, etc.. The facilitator harnesses creativity by stimulating, capturing, and synthesizing ideas. The facilitator also makes sure the agenda is being followed and the time contracts are met. When participants get off-track in their discussion, the facilitator brings the group back into focus without shutting down participation. Facilitators influence the content of the meetings in many ways through developing strawmodels, coaching leaders, assisting resources with their next step assignments, conducting analysis activities while in the meeting. The facilitator's role is a neutral one, focused on process. If however, the facilitator feels that providing content would be value added during the meeting a predetermined role switch indicator ( e.g., physically miming the removal of one hat and replacing with another to show stepping out of facilitator role and into resource role) should be done. There are many meetings that are relatively straightforward which the team leader will facilitate (staff meetings are an example). Sometimes the team leader will feel that he/she needs to focus on content and will ask a team member to facilitate. Sometimes—when the issue is very complex or controversial, the team leader will request a facilitator to focus on the “process” side of the meeting.
Option: verbally idea generate as to why we use flipcharts to record meeting ideas. You may be uncomfortable with flipcharts initially, but from our experience we can tell you that they really increase meeting effectiveness by: Serving as a physical focal point which reemphasizes the topic being discussed. Providing an instant record—no need to record “minutes” separately. Encouraging participation—ideas are noted and given importance. “ Depersonalizing” ideas—after several ideas have been recorded, any single idea loses the personality of the individual who offered it. This allows the group to focus on content rather than personality. Increasing the team’s sense of accomplishments—lists, decisions, next steps, etc.—enables team to see a tangible result. A misperception by many is that the person wielding
The Team Leader is the person who called the meeting. With the facilitator, the leader sets the objective and establishes the agenda. The leader also determines who should participate in the meeting—the resources. The leader may also act as a liaison between this team and other groups; obtaining data, technical expertise, etc. The leader sets a positive, business-like tone for the meeting and creates an environment that encourages creativity and is conducive to success. The leader is the final decision maker, not only on the issues discussed in the meeting, but also on the meeting itself. For example, the leader may decide that an agenda item must be deferred because of missing information, etc. Depending on the leaders background, they may play the role of a resource. They may also act as the meeting facilitator
The team leader really does set the tone: Demand—if you take the meeting seriously, so will the team. Set high—participants will be more motivated if they have a challenging, but do-able agenda. Speak—focus on the team. Role model effective problem-solving, creativity, culture change necessary to achieve aggressive business goals.
While the team leader and facilitator have special responsibilities, the team members, or resources, are also responsible for the success of the meeting. All team members must: Contribute their ideas—they are valued resources; that’s why they are in the meeting. Adhere to the agenda—everyone has a personal responsibility
Grp probsolvfacv3 gsw
Group Problem Solving and FacilitationGemini Skills WorkshopJuly 1998
Contents• Group problem solving• Problem solving/team building (PS/TB) approach• Facilitation skills and the facilitator role Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential -2- GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Why Use Groups for Problem Solving?• Collective experience is more powerful than individual experience• Building on the ideas and knowledge of other creates positive synergy• Efficiency and productivity are enhanced• Group interactions ensure face-to-face interaction of all involved parties resulting in more effective communication• Creates automatic ownership of solutions for those involved. Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential -3- GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
What is Effective Group Problem Solving? A planned and informed attack on a problem which is conducted in a cooperative manner and draws out the collective best from the assembled resources to achieve the best resolution of the problem through an action plan that has the commitment of the implementors Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential -4- GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Key steps in the problem solving process Determine Follow-up Clarify Investigate Decision Identify Evaluate Implement Problem Causes Solutions Solutions Solution and Criteria Measure1. Determine 1. Identify 1. Determine 1. Determine 1. Compare with 1. Prepare action 1. Measure what we know possible criteria solution decision plans expected and what we causes approach criteria benefits don’t 2. Determine 2. Prepare 2. Design tests decision 2. Develop 2. Decide on follow-up plan 2. Collect2. Gather process solutions solution(s) and measures feedback information 3. Perform tests 3. Validate 3. Implement 3. Incorporate3. Identify 4. Determine feedback into constraints causes or re- ongoing work test4. Determine if you should 5. Determine to proceed proceed There are many variations of this process, but these are the basic steps you should follow. Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential -5- GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
What Is PS/TB?– Structured approach– Iterative participative process– Team building experience– GETS RESULTS—SOLVES PROBLEMS! Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential -7- GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
7-Step Team-Building/Problem-Solving Approach 1. Headline the problem 2. Provide background 3. Generate ideas 4. Select ideas 5. Get benefits/concerns 6. Work critical concerns 7. Get action plan/next steps Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential -8- GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
PS/TB: Problem Statement– Initial statement of: problem, task, opportunity and challenge– Must be concise and accurate– Should be action oriented, "How to” H Problem Statement T P Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential -9- B GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
PS/TB: Background– Additional information– Clarification, definitions– Constraints Background– What we tried before (and the outcomes)– Motivating statements Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 10 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Problem Solving/Team Building Flow 1. Headline the problem 2. Provide background 3. Generate ideas 4. Select ideas 5. Get benefits/concerns 6. Work critical conditions 1. Headline the problem Yes 2. Provide background 3. Generate ideas None 4. Select ideas 5. Get benefits/concerns 6. Work critical conditions 7. Get action plan/next steps None Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 11 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
PS/TB: “Where to eat tonight?”Problem Statement: • H2 identify and make plans needed for my wife and I to eat dinner out this eveningBackground: • Don’t want to cook • Ate Chinese last night • Don’t want to drive more than 30 minutesIdea 1. Herr Gruber’s German RestaurantGeneration/Restaurant: 2. McDonalds 3. Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurant 4. Madame Frenchy’s French Foods 5. Guiseppi’s Italian Cuisine 6. The Backfin Seafood Restaurant Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 12 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
PS/TB: “Where to Eat Tonight” (cont.)Selection: 6. The BackfinBenefits of the + 10 minutes awaySelected Idea: + New place + Recommended by friends (great swordfish!)Concerns: - IWIK how much it cost - H2 get specified directions - H2 deal with my wife’s allergy to fish - IWIK if there were a table available this eveningID Critical Concerns: - H2 deal with my wife’s allergy to fish Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 13 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
PS/TB: “Where to Eat Tonight?” (cont.)(New) Problem • H2 deal with my wife’s allergy to fishStatement:Background: • If even she smell fish, she throws upIdea 1. Oxygen tentGeneration: 2. Gas mask 3. Fumigate the building Killer concern Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 14 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
PS/TB: “Where to Eat Tonight?” (cont.)Make New Selection: • Chi-Chi’s Mexican RestaurantRestaurantBenefits of the + 12 minutes awaySelected Idea: + Allergies no problem + Good past experiences + Great margaritas!Concerns: - H2 know if there’s a table available with less than a 30 minute wait - No reservationsID Critical Concerns: - NoneAction Plan: - Plan to leave for Chi-Chis at 5:00 p.m. tonight (to avoid the dinner rush) Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 15 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Good Facilitation Skills Apply in Many Meeting Situations Controlling Facilitating Leader is responsible 20% for decision making 80% 50% 50% Team members and leader share 80% responsibility for 20% decision making Controlling Leader’s Role: •Facilitating Leader’s Role: • Tell – Listen • Sell – Ask questions • Direct – Direct group process • Decide – Coach • Delegate – Teach • Solve problems – Build consensus • Set goals – Share in goal setting • Use authority to get things done – Share in decision making – Empower others to get things doneSource: How to Lead Work Teams: Facilitation Skills, Fran Rees. Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 17 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Good Facilitation Includes Specific Behavioral Skills– Ask open ended questions– Positively respond to contributions from the group– Ask for more specific examples– Redirect comments or questions to other group members– Avoid stating your opinion while facilitating– Paraphrase for clarity and understanding– Role model and encourage good meeting behaviors Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 18 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Meeting Roles: Facilitator– Guides the process– Make it “safe” for everyone to participate– Records group ideas and decisions– Monitors time contract– Brings team back on-track when needed– Helps headline and clarify ideas– Aids team performance– Provides feedback Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 19 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
The Group Memory: Flipchart Recordings – Helps the group focus – Provides instant record of meeting content – Encourages participation – “Depersonalizes” ideas – Increases sense of accomplishment Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 20 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Meeting Roles: Client/ Team Leader– “Owns” the meeting—sets the objectives– Determines the participants– Provides support, information, and resources– Sets the tone– Encourages creativity– Makes decisions Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 21 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Meeting Behavior: The Leader Sets the Tone– Demand serious preparation, attention, and effort– Set high—but reasonable, achievable expectations– Speak in terms of “we” instead of “I”– Make the team realize that the task is important Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 22 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
Meeting Roles: Resource/ Team Member– Generates ideas and recommendations– Adheres to the agenda– Practices good meeting behaviors– Completes assigned tasks– Participates actively Gemini Consulting Limited • Proprietary and Confidential - 23 - GrpProbSolvFac v3.ppt
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