Creativity Tool Example

Use the Creativity Tool to Launch Ideation When Brainstorming

The following Creativity tool stimulates the ideation activity of Brainstorming and enables people to express ideas and beliefs non-verbally, even if they cannot or will not do it orally. This is especially beneficial for developing visions of the business, system, or organization.  It should also be used when defining, especially complex products or processes. Creativity…

Effective Icebreakers (aka Meeting Sparks)

A Few Dozen Highly Effective Icebreakers (aka, Meeting Sparks)

Use icebreakers to get participants vocal and more participatory sooner by introducing themselves beyond name and title. The following examples can be used by virtual participants as well. When virtual, make sure all participants identify themselves before speaking. Questions to Launch Effective Icebreakers (aka Meeting Sparks) A simple yet effective-method: “If I were a . . …

The Trivium

One Essence, Three Aspects: The Rule of Thirds in the World of Facilitation

The rule of thirds can help guide facilitator. The Project Management Institute (PMI) refers to planning, analysis, and design as separate stages across project development. At ground level, the basic Use Case refers to Input>Process>Output as the basis for understanding requirements. Many of the world’s great religions of philosophy embrace the concept of a trinity.…

Design Thinker

A Facilitator’s Profile is Much Like an Innovator’s Profile (Design Thinker)

“Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need weird shoes or a black turtleneck to be a design thinker . . .” so goes the article from Harvard Business Review June 2008 (pg 87). The author suggests five characteristics found in design thinkers (ie, innovators) that relate uncannily to core competencies required for effective facilitation.  Included…


How Experience and Qualifications Amplify the Fallacy of Planning (i.e., “Overconfidence”)

Research by Ana Guinote and Mario Weick shows that people in positions of power are particularly ineffective planners. People who feel powerful focus on getting what they want and ignore the potential obstacles that stand in the way. Here is the fallacy of planning: the planning efforts of powerful people rely frequently on “best case…

Stimulate the Senses

The Positive Psychology of Chenille Stems: How to Make Everything Seem Easier

If you seek innovation and breakthrough during your group meetings or workshops, do not clone yourself. Constantly strive to blend and mix various ingredients and participants. Prepare to keep all of your participants stimulated. We call it the “Zen” of the experience—that is appealing to all the senses to stimulate and maintain vibrancy, including chenille…

Illustrative Context Diagram

Context Diagram – A Consensually Built Picture Can Resolve a Thousand Arguments

Most of us have heard that a picture tells a thousand words. Consensually built pictures, especially around complex topics and interactions, can be used to help solve and resolve a thousand arguments. We are reminded by the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) Quick Tip Bulletin #58 about the value of one picture type, called…

14 Typologies to Avoid

14 Facilitator Typologies to Avoid (Humorous, Although Uncannily Real)

Here is a quick and somewhat humorous listing of fourteen different facilitator typologies or “personalities” you might seek to avoid. Our favorite is “The Pretender.” The “I Can’t Hear You” Guy— The facilitator who refuses to listen, probably because they are too busy analyzing, judging, and processing information. The Blabber— The facilitator who loves the…

Facilitating Kum-Bay-Yah Decision-Making Matrix to Guide Selection of Structured Facilitation Tools

For-Profit Meetings Requires Structure Not Found in Facilitating Kum-Ba-Yah

Facilitating business requirements captures substantially different challenges than facilitating Kum-Ba-Yah community forums and other volunteer-based meetings. While active listening serves both scenarios, decision-making that supports most business initiatives differs from win-lose voting methods. Frequently, business facilitators are not seeking agreement, rather harmony. The difference follows. Agreement suggests that everyone is singing the same note, perhaps…