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All too often we are guilty of asking for the deliverable.  For example, if the deliverable is a plan to mitigate ‘Burnout’ in the IT[1] Service Department, we often jump to ‘solving’ by asking for ideas on what to do.

MG RUSH structured facilitation embraces an evidence-based management approach that says Y = f (X + X + x + x), where ‘Y’ is a function of ‘X’ and there are big ‘X’s and little ‘x’s. The following perspectives change the point of view of your participants and create higher quality big ‘X’s and little ‘x’s.

point of view, participants’ point of view, Point of View in a Meeting

30 Questions to help change participants’ Point of View

Therefore, we are going to draw upon five established approaches to derive 30 different ways to focus a point of view, namely:

  1. The 6 M’s

    • Methods, Machines, Materials, Manpower, Measurements, and Mother Nature
  2. The 7 P’s

    • Packaging, People, Place, Policies, Positioning, Price, Procedure[2],Product/ Service, Promotion
  3. The 5 S’s

    • Safety, Skills, Suppliers, Surroundings, Systems
  4. Six Trends from the World Future Society (WFS)

    • Demographic—covers specific population groups, family composition, public-health issues, etc
    • Economic—includes finance, business, work and careers, and management
    • Environmental—includes resources, ecosystems, species, and habitats
    • Governmental—includes world affairs, politics, laws, and public policy
    • Societal—covers lifestyles, values, religion, leisure, culture, and education
    • Technological—includes innovations, scientific discoveries, and their affects
  1. Six Purchasing Value/ Utility Levers and Potential Bottlenecks

Idea Generation

Use an idea-generating technique to identify the factors within each category that could cause the problem, issue, and/ or effect being studied. For example, to change the point of view, the facilitator could ask . . .

“What are our methods affecting/ causing _______ ?” or,

“What is the impact of convenience given _______ ?” or,

“How might our skills be leveraged against _______ ?” etc.

Changing Perspective or Point of View

The first eighteen above are frequently used when conducting root cause analysis (RCA). We’ve found them helpful in a variety of situations, enabling us to ask sharper questions. When you consider all 30 points of view in the aggregate, you would be hard-pressed to find a critical factor in your business situation that falls outside the scope of these 30 spheres of activity.

While highly unlikely that you would ever use all 30 at once, forcing focus from a few of the most relevant points of view will enrich your group’s understanding. You are now asking about the ‘X’s and not the ‘Y’.  By predetermining the most important factors or drivers in your business situation, you can also assemble break-out sessions more effectively.

[1] IT = Information Technology

[2] Potentially the same or certainly similar to ‘methods’ mentioned in ‘The 6 M’s’.


Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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