Organizational Development Consultant

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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Six Techniques to Brainstorm Ideas: #6 Breaking a Stalemate

May 12, 2014

“Sometimes when we need to be the most creative, my participants seem to be restricted by their assumptions. I need to find a way to help them challenge those assumptions so we can generate a new level of thinking and creativity. What do you suggest?”

6: Breaking a Stalemate

What is Breaking a Stalemate?

Breaking a Stalemate is a brainstorming technique designed to challenge the paradigms and assumptions of your participants that seem to get in the way of their creative energy.

Instead of brainstorming solutions to a stated question or problem like other brainstorming techniques, Breaking Continue reading

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Six Techniques to Brainstorm Ideas: #5 STP

May 8, 2014
“Often our discussions ramble from problem to solution and back again. Sometimes we even look for solutions before agreeing on what we want as an end result. What can we do to focus on one thing at a time without over-structuring ourselves?”
5. STP
What Is STP?
STP (Situation, Target, Proposal) is a brainstorming technique designed to clarify a situation, define a target, and articulate a proposed solution. Situation refers to the current, undesirable state. Target refers to a future, desired state. The Proposal portion of the equation is the proposed action(s) to move from the current situation to the Continue reading
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Six Techniques to Brainstorm Ideas: #4 Card Clusters

May 5, 2014

“I know that sharing ideas is essential to our group’s success. But ensuring that everyone’s ideas are heard can be a slow and difficult process. Some people don’t like to talk in front of a group, some people talk too much, and others continuously judge ideas prematurely. I need a technique that is fast and efficient in gathering maximum input in minimum time. What do you suggest?”

4. Card Clusters

What Are Card Clusters?

The Card Clusters technique gathers ideas and information quickly and efficiently, while eliminating common brainstorming problems.

For this technique individuals silently write ideas on cards (usually Continue reading

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