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Understanding Group Dynamics (Part Two) – Using Card Facilitated Group Thinking Technique

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Design Thinking Techniques | 0 comments

DESIGN THINKING TECHNIQUES SERIES

Understanding Group Dynamics – Using Card Facilitated Group Design Thinking Technique

In our previous post “Six Personae to Avoid in Group Thinking, we discussed the six personalities that could disrupt creative group thinking if you do not find means to manage their untimely manifestations during group work or brain-storming sessions.

In this post, we would like to introduce the first of two design thinking techniques “the card-facilitated brain-storming or group discussion” that helps you manage the group thinking process such that you can better focus on achieving the desired results in an efficient, effective and productive manner.

The Card-Facilitated Brain-storming is a group facilitation methodology that organises the brain-storming process into various segments and steps of different activities to

  • better allow for the individual processing of one’s thoughts;
  • facilitate the understanding of each others’ thinking and ideas;
  • enable the efficient organisation of thoughts and ideas;
  • enable quick and efficient prioritising of the the ideas and quick decision-making on what to do next and how to proceed further with the ideas.

The sequence of the Card-Facilitated Brain-storming are as follows:

1 SILENT THINKING TIME

2 SHARING TIME

3 CLUSTERING TIME

4 ORDERING/PRIORITISING TIME

5 REPEAT 1 TO 4 WHERE NECESSARY.

Step One of Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique

SILENDesign Thinking Technique Card Facilitated Brainstorming 2T THINKING TIME

The first step of the Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique involves allowing participants time to think about the problem-at-hand and to come up with their own answers quietly, without immediately sharing it with everyone.  By so doing, each participants may provide many answers within a short span of time, unlike in traditional discussion setting where participants would spend much time discussing the very first idea, thought etc. that might be raised.  This is in line with the Design Thinking principle of targeting quantity during the early stage of a brain-storming session, without censorship, neither from self nor from others.  In order that the many answers may be captured and retained outside of participants’ cerebral matters and brain cells, participants would record each answer using keywords (usually not more than five) on a so-called card (our preferred dimension for the card is 297mm by 105mm; easily obtained by slicing recycled A4 papers into half lengthwise).  This shall be done in big letters that would be legible when participants hold up the card during the sharing session.

Step Two of Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique

Design Thinking Technique - Card Facilitated Brainstorming 1

SHARING TIME

During the second step of the Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique, participants will take turn sharing their answers with everyone.  During this sharing session, each participant will share one  answer  at a time, passing on to the next person immediately after one particular answer or idea.  Only when the last person in the group has also gotten a turn to share an answer or idea, the sharing will revert to the first person, who will move on to share his/her second answer.  This ensures that everyone gets equal chances to share his/her answers/ideas.  It is often likely, that more than one participant come up with the same answer.  Circulating in this manner prevent any one participant from exhausting many of the answers and ideas and limiting the chances of others to share and/or to speak.   When an answer/idea is being shared, participants who have the same or similar answer/idea can contribute their thoughts as well, addressing any variations or differences.  Should they have exactly the same answer/idea, they can put their cards containing this aside so that no time is wasted going through the same thing.

Step Three and Four of Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique

Design Thinking Technique - Card Facilitated Brainstorming 3CLUSTERING TIME

For the third step of the Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique, participants will discuss the answers and ideas and begin to explore the categorisation of these answers and ideas by grouping them together. Should participants disagree about where an answer or idea belong, they should simply duplicate another card with this answer/idea and park it in multiple categories.

ORDERING/PRIORITISING TIME

Following this, participants can start to order the categories of answers/ideas in terms of importance or priority at the fourth step of the Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique.  In this way, participants jointly decide on the priority/ hierarchy of the issues, ideas and/or categories of issues and ideas after discussing the relative importance of these as well as agreeing on strategies and actions.

Step Five of Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique

REPETITION OF STEPS ONE TO FOUR

Where necessary, such as when further questions are imminent from the results of the brain-storming, participants can repeat the four steps of the Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming or Discussion Technique.

SUMMARY

The five steps of the Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique are:

1 SILENT THINKING TIME

2 SHARING TIME

3 CLUSTERING TIME

4 ORDERING/PRIORITISING TIME

5 REPEAT 1 TO 4 WHERE NECESSARY.

 

Using the Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique helps participants keep in-check the six unwelcome personae of group thinking and keep them at bay, enabling the session to be highly efficient and effective while at the same time preventing any potential conflicts or difficult situations from arising.

Explore the use of the Design Thinking Card-Facilitated Brain-storming Technique and Happy Brain-storming!

 

 

 

 

 

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