Improve your Team Problem Solving

When you do group problem solving with your team, try this tip to make your time more effective…

When groups get together to brainstorm, they actually come up with fewer ideas than the individuals in that group would have come up with on their own. That’s why it’s important to think about group problem solving in two phases:

Divergence and Convergence

Divergence happens when the group considers as many different potential solutions as possible. For example, “How many different uses can you find for a brick?

Convergence happens when a large number of ideas are whittled down to a smaller set. For the best results, have people work alone when generating ideas. Then collect those ideas and send them around to the group.

Allow the divergence to continue as group members individually build on the ideas of their colleagues. Give the resulting ideas to everyone and let the group get together to pick the best ones. This way everyone can offer solutions without being unduly influenced by others’ ideas.

Adapted from “The Problem-Solving Process That Prevents Groupthink,” by Art Markman

This daily tip comes from HBR:

What tips have helped you to improve your problem solving team processes? 


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