October 1, 2015 Leave a comment
To extract some consensually validated new product, process, or other innovative ideas or concepts while encouraging 100 percent participation. The following is particularly appropriate with larger groups of nine or more participants.
In advance, inform all of your participants to bring at least one idea or response to some prepared question that will be addressed during the meeting or workshop. While focused on a central theme (eg, solution to a problem), consider enforcing detailed perspective to break the question down into manageable pieces.
For example, do NOT ask what does the Marketing Plan look like? Understand that “Y” is a function of numerous large “X” and small “x” so ask solid, detailed questions such as: Who should be our target audience for _________?
Build three sets of flash cards with the numbers one through ten on each set. Consider using 4in * 6in index cards. In the meeting or workshop, consciously or randomly select three class members (“experts”) who will serve as judges.
After meeting participants present each idea or concept, the judges flash their scores, with more being better (ie, ten is the best). The facilitator captures the three scores and tabulates them on a large Post-It®. The highest score does not necessarily win, but discussion will be minimized around the sub-optimal choice, allowing the group to focus on the best candidates or options.
Separately the facilitator leads discussions about the reason(s) to support the scores and captures them on large Post-Its. The reasons provide the criteria that can now be used to re-evaluate all the ideas, or to create new ideas.
Consider prioritizing or weighting the criteria since some will be more important than others. Traditionally the weighting system runs from one to five where more is better. You might use the Scorecard tool to calculate detailed scores or consider using the Perceptual Map tool and arraying your options against the most important criteria.
If you have your participants prepare responses to more than one question, and have additional time, start over again. Consider appointing new judges so that all voices are viewed as equal contributors.
Let us know what you think by commenting below. For additional methodology and team-based meeting support for your change initiatives, refer to “Change or Die, a Business Process Improvement Manual” for much of the support you might need to lead more effective groups, teams, and meetings.
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The FAST curriculum on Professional Facilitation Skills details the responsibilities and dynamics of an effective facilitator and methodologist. Remember, nobody is smarter than everybody, so consult your FAST Facilitator Reference Manual or attend a FAST professional facilitative leadership-training workshop offered around the world (see MG Rush for a current schedule — an excellent way to earn 40 PDUs from PMI, CDUs from IIBA, or CEUs).
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