Moving beyond brainstorming

This is our last post for the year. We’ll take a break and come back in January with a wrap-up on the Minnesota State leadership competencies.

Therefore, I’d like to propose an early New Year’s resolution – for myself and each of us as leaders. During the year I want to expand my toolbox and find new ways to help my work groups reach decisions.

When we’re leameetingding meetings and there are decisions to be made, it’s easy to default to the tools that are comfortable and familiar. That usually means brainstorming and group discussion. Using other techniques can add a spark of creativity, help people remain engaged, and generate better decisions.

Here are some easy alternates to brainstorming:

  • Six Thinking Hats – Assign each member to approach the decision from a particular viewpoint. Ask people to have fun and get into their roles, even if it’s outside of their usual comfort zone.
  • Interviewing – Ask each team member to talk to 1-2 stakeholders who are impacted by the decision. Share the results and identify common concerns and any new issues that came up.
  • Pair-pair-share – Ask everyone to pair up with a partner and spend three minutes discussing their views about the decision. Then group the pairs into teams of four and have them come up with a list of considerations to share with the whole group. You’d be surprised how much new information can be generated in 10 minutes!

We hope you all have chance to relax and renew over the winter break!

Dee Anne Bonebright

 

 

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