Creativity in Conservative Org LO12880

BJ Danylchuk (
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 09:57:57 -0500

Responding to Creativity in Conservative Org LO12860 and LO12865
regarding the Chemical Strategy

I have just one thing to add to Adam's well crafted reply.

Before you assemble that group of people in a room with an outside
facilitator, you need a clear statement of *exactly* what that group's
task is, and what their task is not, so that the entire group knows what
it is they are being asked to do, and what is "out of bounds" in terms
of a solution.

The business head [and, if s/he wishes to build buy-in at the senior
level, then the exec management group - that small cadre at the top of
the organization] are the source of this clear statement.

The clarification needs to be in writing and very specific (because
somehow the process of having to reduce something to writing forces
the senior folks to be very clear about what it is they want solved -
i.e. they deal with their assumptions first).

For example, is the problem merely that the pumps can't be if a solution was found for that, that would be
sufficient? Or is the problem that the cost fo the current process is
too high, so that what is required is to find a way to reduce process
costs by XX% (e.g. 20%) by XX date (which may mean rdesigning the
enitre process and, if that turns out to be the case, so be it)?

The quality of the thought at this stage will directly impact the
quality of the outcome.

If you have done this "pre-work" before the meeting Adam describes,
then you have defined the playing field, i.e. what's in play for the
conversation. This is of infinite assistance in maintaining focus, so
that the group has a sense of where they're going to (and also where
they are not).

The bottom line isthat you don't want people trying to work ona
problem and find a solution if there's no agreement on what the
problem really is or what you want solved, as all that you will
accomplish is a hardening of attitudes.

If you do this work in advance of the meeting, then the meeting, while
boisterous, will have a good chance of success...because it has
clarity of purpose and focus.

Hope this helps..


BJ Danylchuk []

-- (BJ Danylchuk)

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