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Prioritizing Options

Multi‐voting is used to prioritize and/or narrow down a list of options (i.e., divergent thinking). It is most often used in conjunction with brainstorming. However, it can be applied to any list that needs to be reduced to a critical few. It helps a group refine a list into something workable, focus on what is most important, or pick from what would be most impactful.

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Next Steps Big-Six Questions

To assist groups and teams conclude a session or a phase of discussion, consider using the following “Big‐Six” questions to specify what has been agreed to, delineate a time frame, and establish accountability:

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Mind Mapping for Creativity and Planning

Individuals and teams often have to organize a great deal of information in a useable way. Mind mapping is a perfect tool, particularly for qualitative information that cannot easily be put in a graph, table, or chart. The applications of mind mapping are numerous, but some uses include: finding root causes, planning a project, gathering data, and assigning responsibilities. It is a valuable tool for a team, because it combines diverse information quickly and visually, so the process can involve every member efficiently.

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Group-Level Assessment

This intervention is useful for involving the team in assessing its own performance or efficiency. While this is a more time‐consuming option for the participants than written surveys or interviews, it has the double benefit of getting valid data from the group in real time and affecting immediate change, a technique known as “action research.”

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Gaining Levels of Commitment

Even the best laid plans can come to nothing if you have not earned team or organizational commitment to execution. Problem solvers can earn this commitment in a variety of ways and should make a conscious-decision about how to approach this delicate process early in the problem‐solving process itself.

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