When I work with a group as a strategic planning facilitator there are a number of key challenges.
I have to ensure that everyone contributes to the outcome (evenly) and to help the group to come up with new and original solutions to often difficult problems.
Here is a way that any team leader or facilitator can meet both challenges using a tool i have developed called 9 questions.
– Post the challenge on the whiteboard for all to see and ensure that everyone understands issue.
– Then ask everyone to work by themselves (this is vital) and write down 9 big, new questions about the challenge.
The aim is to try and generate as many original questions as the group can.
– An original question is one where the individual and/or the group genuinely does not know the answer.
– The idea here is that by asking more original questions the group increases the probability of generating an original answer or solution.
– After each person has generated some new questions they discuss them with a partner.
The aim here is not to answer the question but to simply agree upon which questions are original.
– Then present your most original questions to the bigger group who then decide on which ones they should work on.
– The aim here is to address the questions that challenge the group and make them feel uncomfortable.
By doing so the group will more often than not generate amazing, rich new ideas and solutions.
The 9 questions tool will ensure that everyone contributes their creativity, the energy in the group is high and the outcomes will be more insightful.