Groups of all sizes and areas of responsibility are often called upon to reach consensus on an issue or to agree to the solution of problems. At the Board of Directors level this might include decisions about policy, compensation of the CEO, inclusion of new board members or other issues. The executive team is often in a position of having to agree about company direction, strategy and tactics. In our business world each manager, department and working team is confronted with decisions and sometimes confrontation.
How do we go about making decisions that take the best ideas from the group involved and execute them so that they are good for the organization being served?
In part the responsibility lies with the head of the chain of command of that group – but probably more important is the facilitator of the process. And, of course, facilitation most frequently is a function allocated to Human Resources.
One would think that the more educated and experienced the members of the group, the easier it would be for them to come to amicable agreements. Not so! Look at what happens on the floor of the senate! Let me also tell you that in the years in which I traveled the country training boards of directors, I found the same hurt feelings, bullying behavior, insulting the person with the other opinion, and voting on popularity rather than position.
So how do we get away from these problems which are primarily based on emotion as opposed to logic. I believe part of the answer lies in creating processes that move people forward in a more rational manner. This course offers you a series of exercises that you can use where you believe them to be appropriate.
The exercises include:
- Brainstorming, both structured and unstructured versions with ways to use the raw data obtained.
- A series of organization of data, such as affinity diagrams, fishbone exercises, iceberg chart, Pareto chart, rank order, slice of the pie and values clarification.
- Story Boarding, and
- Six Thinking Hats
I provide you with tips based on my experience as to how best to implement each of these exercises.