Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #10 Nominal Group Process

June 30, 2014

“Our group needs some discipline. A few outspoken people seem to be influencing the thinking of the other meeting participants. If we are to truly benefit from everyone’s ideas, we need to find a way to eliminate this type of pressure. Do you have any ideas?”

#10  Nominal Group Process

What is Nominal Group Process?

Nominal Group Process is a technique that allows meeting participants to express themselves without immediate outside influence. The process involves having each group member individually think and write down their thoughts about an issue or problem before presenting them to the group Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #9 Is/Is Not

June 25, 2014

“We have a demanding problem to solve and we’re finding it difficult to get our arms around it. Is there a simple technique that will focus our efforts in the right direction?”

#9  Is/Is Not

What is Is/Is Not?

Is/Is Not is a technique for specifically identifying a problem. “A problem well stated is a problem half solved” goes the old adage, revealing that you can’t solve a problem until you clearly and accurately identify it.  Is/Is Not defines exactly what a problem is and what a problem is not.

Sometimes the process of Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #8 Skits

June 19, 2014

“We are constantly trying to maximize the efforts of our organization. But it’s difficult to know how to help work teams without knowing exactly what they do or the problems they face. How can I lead work groups to share this kind of information without being boring?”

#8 Skits

What are Skits?

Skits allow groups to share information about their responsibilities and work situation with other groups in their organization. In this way they can help others better understand the reality of their situation.

Skits use the power of example to illustrate a position, depict a problem, or Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #7 Passing Notes

June 14, 2014

“Several of the groups within our organization are interdependent. Productivity suffers because none of the groups seem to understand exactly how their own work impacts the others. And the atmosphere that has developed is more competitive than collaborative. We want to find an effective way to give each other feedback, but we need to learn a technique that is not heavy handed. Do you have any ideas?”

#7 Passing Notes

What is Passing Notes?

Passing Notes is a technique for giving and receiving specific feedback to and from other divisions, departments, groups, work shifts, or even individuals within Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #6 Expectations Survey

June 11, 2014

“Our group is planning where to focus our improvement efforts for the next few years. We want input from our customers and employees, but don’t really know how to organize ourselves to get this input. What do you suggest?”

#6 Expectations Survey

What Is an Expectations Survey?

Expectations Survey is a technique designed to gather quantifiable information from customers of a specific group. In this case, a group can mean a company, division, department, or team within any organization. An Expectations Survey measures the expectations of a group from a wide variety of customers. This information Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #5 Delphi Technique

June 7, 2014

            “I need to gather information from a range of people in different locations. The information I require is relatively straight forward, but getting these people together is impossible. Help!”

#5: Delphi Technique

What is Delphi Technique?

The Delphi Technique is used to gather information and opinions from the members of a group without any face-to-face discussion. This occurs most often when it is logistically difficult for the group participants to get together. The process is carried out through a series of questionnaires, ending with a written Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #4 Questionnaires

June 2, 2014

“I know that a number of organizations and facilitators use Questionnaires to gather information. What can you tell me about this technique?”

#4: Questionnaires

What are Questionnaires?

Questionnaires gather written information from individuals that can be quantitative, qualitative, or a combination of both. It is a relatively inexpensive technique that allows you to gather information from large numbers of people in a short period of time.

This technique does, however, have limitations. Because it is one-way communication, sometimes the data collected can be difficult to interpret. Some people will give you less information in writing than in Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #3 Focus Groups

May 28, 2014

            “We need to collect a lot of information from a large number of people in a short period of time. Face to face input is important, but our group doesn’t have the time or the resources to gather this information through individual interviews. What do you suggest?”

#3: Focus Groups

What are Focus Groups?

Focus Groups are designed to gather information from groups of people. The need for this technique can be motivated by time constraints, or the belief that the synergy of group discussions can create Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #2 Individual Interviews

May 19, 2014

“Sometimes we need to gather information from people other than those attending our meetings. On other occasions, we need to spend our limited meeting time making decisions instead of collect- ing information. Is there a technique you can suggest for these situations?”

2. Individual Interviews

What Are Individual Interviews?

The Individual Interviews technique is designed to gather information and ideas from specific stakeholders before a particular meeting takes place. Stakeholders are those people who have any vested interest, share, or stake in a given outcome. This information is generally collected and categorized for use in a specific meeting, but there Continue reading

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Nineteen Techniques to Gather Information: #1 Open Ended Questions

May 16, 2014

Organizations need to gather and analyze information in order to make intelligent decisions. This can be an arduous and daunting task. Because the quality of decisions inevitably suffers when based on incomplete and therefore inferior data, comprehensive information is absolutely essential. Today, this information comes from both inside and outside the organi- zation and often from nontraditional sources.

My next blogs give the meeting facilitator nineteen options for accumulating maximum information in record time. Some of these techniques can be used to gather information before meetings; others are designed for use within meetings; and one technique, the Delphi Technique, is Continue reading

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