Organizational Development Consultant

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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Six Techniques to Brainstorm Ideas: #3 Storyboarding

May 1, 2014

“Nonlinear brainstorming techniques seem to suit many of the groups I facilitate. Is there an alternative to Mind Mapping that provides a flexible and visual process for sequencing information?”

3. Storyboarding

What Is Storyboarding?

Storyboarding is a nonlinear brainstorming technique that allows you to later arrange the ideas your group generates into a desired order or linear format. Many brainstorming techniques are designed to seek specific solutions to a given question or problem. Storyboarding differs from these techniques because it provides a process to visually manipulate brainstormed information into the most desirable order or format.

Examples of specific items that Continue reading

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Six Techniques to Brainstorm Ideas: #2 Mind Mapping

April 28, 2014

 “Sometimes we brainstorm information and ideas that need to be subsequently placed into a specific sequence, order, or outline. But our group likes to brainstorm in a nonsequential manner, much like the process outlined in the Old Fashioned Way. Is there an efficient way to brainstorm that will allow us to later sequence the information without extra work?”

#2 Mind Mapping

What Is Mind Mapping?

Mind Mapping is a brainstorming technique for quickly charting your group’s ideas in logical groupings, even when members give ideas in a nonsequential manner.

It is impossible to effectively outline ideas in a traditional, Continue reading

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Six Techniques to Brainstorm Ideas: #1 The Old Fashioned Way

April 24, 2014

Contemporary organizations expect every group within them to provide creative solutions. Groups need to find better ways of doing business as well as expose, analyze, and deal with problems before they even occur.

The best way to find the most effective idea is to first introduce as many ideas as possible. And that means brainstorming. Brainstorming works on the principle that the quantity of ideas increases their quality. The first ideas are typically the most obvious. When brainstormers are fearful of scrutiny and judgment during the brainstorming session, ideas stop flowing before the best ideas come forward. Deferring judgment on Continue reading

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Seven Techniques to Boost Creativity and Teamwork: #7 The Funeral

April 19, 2014

“Our group has just gone through downsizing and restructuring, and we’re having a difficult time letting go of the past. This negatively impacts our ability to concentrate on future demands. What can I do to help the group deal with this type of situation?”

7. The Funeral

What Is the Funeral?

The Funeral is a technique for helping a group put the past aside and prepare for the future. The Funeral acknowledges in a good-natured way that the past had both its good and bad points. However, in order to go forward, the group must now bury the past and Continue reading

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Seven Techniques to Boost Creativity and Teamwork: #6 Milestones

April 17, 2014

“I’m want a technique for helping our group understand and appreciate the diversity of experience and backgrounds in the room, but in an informal and interesting way.  Do you have any ideas?”



MILESTONES is a technique that allows for participants to learn more about the members of their meeting group, thereby building a stronger sense of team.  By focusing on MILESTONES in each participant’s life, the exercise promotes learning more about each other, both on a personal and professional level, which ultimately helps people work together more effectively.

It is often an underlying Continue reading

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