What are the critical factors to consider when facilitating a successful problem solving session?

Here are a few that I’ve thought of

  • Invite the right people:  Open the opportunity to people who you think will contribute and those people with the job title that makes them natural invitees to help solve the problem at hand.  If you have a financial problem, invite the accountants. A project management problem? Invite the project managers!
  • Invite others too: Also, think about people who may never have contributed before.  They may new people or whose roles are impacted but not quite on the obvious list.  Think ‘cognitive diversity’.  Avoid picking attendees from the list of usual suspects.  If you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’e always got. Think broader about your contributors and be generous with your invitations.
  • Create listening spaces:  Consider creating opportunities for both louder and quieter voices. If you want cognitive diversity, you have to create the conditions that welcome everyone. Employ facilitation methods that appeal to that broad group of contributors so that all ideas and thoughts have an opportunity to rise to the the top
  • Make contributions count:. Feed back, action the best ideas, circle back for clarification and clarity, and review implementation.  Create a accessible ‘you said – we did’ loop that values the broad range of contributions from the broad range of contributors


What would you add?  Click here to add your thoughts and comments