Objections. Judgement. Criticism. Debate can facilitate quite a bit of innovative team problem solving activities.
It’s true. If your team members like to collaborate, you shouldn’t make them compete…depending on your goal. If your goal is to help your team boost innovation and problem solving, it may be best to go “against type” when selecting an event. Criticism creates innovative teams.
“Teams that utilized conflict in their process consistently outperformed teams that focused on cohesion. In a summary of [one] study’s results, the researchers write ‘Our findings show that debate and criticism do not inhibit ideas but, rather, stimulate them relative to every other condition.”
Debate = Innovative Team Problem Solving
Don’t start any fights! It’s important to provide a method of interactive and representational argument for your team. Otherwise, you may descend into chaos and hurt feelings. Nobody wants that.
As IDEA suggests (and their logo implies), you should create a “participatory learning environment where individuals feel safe to explore ideas and view topics from a variety of perspectives” in order to boost innovation and generate more ideas.
Here’s a few problem solving strategies that work:
(1) Assign a Dissenter or “Devil’s Advocate”
Assign one person to find and present reasons why every idea may not be feasible. Now it’s his or her job to challenge everyone. It’s not personal! Well, as long as everyone sticks to debating rather than arguing.
Debates are typically:
- Formal and intellectual
- Concerned with factual events, or theories
- About persuading an opposing group to an alternate viewpoint
Arguments are typically:
- Informal and personal
- Not always concerned with factual correctness
- About things both parties are aware of, thus no opposing viewpoints are involved
(2) Pixar “Plussing”
Anytime someone comments on another’s work, that comment must contain a “plus” — a way to improve or build on the work. This technique provides a foundation for the criticism. The original idea is something to still build upon rather than dismiss as a whole in this scenario.
Instead of assigning team roles, plussing keeps critiques positive as a whole.
These are both strategies that can be incorporated into events, meetings and even company culture. If you’re trying something new, start with more structure like a team building event.
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Know each other as people, not just professionals. We’re all so much more than our job titles. We have interests that may have drawn each of us to our roles and help us excel within them. There are easy team building icebreaker activities for work that will help you and your team bond and get to know each other as more than just your role in the office. (more…)
There are little things that people do that can cause us to scream in our heads – “Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God, will you stop PLEASE!” – but the annoyances are usually so trivial that no one ever really shares their frustration out loud…at least not until it’s too late to sound rational. (more…)
In business and in life, people are rewarded and praised for success, which creates a culture where we don’t learn from failure.
Virtual Reality Now Available As A Team Building Event Let’s travel in time back to the ’90s when Virtual Reality (VR) concept was just a thought? There were some prototypes, but unfortunately, they were far from becoming a reality. The only VR devices that were on the market by that time were heavy, huge machines that weren’t portable at all.
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