December 3, 2015

Structured Collaboration

A Silent Discussion 

By Liz Dance, JayRay Intern

Steve Jobs said, “Great things in businesses are never done by one person; they’re done by a team.” But let’s face it, adopting new ideas and shifting direction can be challenging.

If you are looking to improve your decision-making process with colleagues or clients, look no more! A silent structured collaboration exercise can create shared ownership among teams of any size.

Eight easy steps to a productive group discussion:

  1. Determine a focus question.
    For example, “What could we do to work better as a team?”

  2. Gather the group.

  3. Ask participants to write several opinions, one per sticky note, all of the same color.

  4. Place the sticky notes on a wall.

  5. Group similar items together.
    If someone feels an item is in the wrong group, he or she can move it to another.

  6. Ask participants to identify the theme name that represents each group, using sticky notes of a second color.
    A group can have multiple theme names, but narrow it to one before moving on.

  7. Write the group names on a separate list and post it on the wall.
    Ask participants to list the three most important groups on sticky notes of a third color. Then, ask each person to give three Xs to the most important group, two Xs to the second most important group and one X to the third most important group. Ask participants to place their Xs next to the correct group name posted on the wall.

  8. Total the number of Xs per group.
    The ranked groups are the answers to your focus question. Focus on the top three.

This discussion method can be used to prioritize ideas, define goals or find problems. The process is completed silently, providing equal opportunity among different personalities and roles. What other collaboration methods do you like? Tweet us @JayRayAdsPR.