How to Create Solution-Centred Teams
Solution Centred Teams have three essential qualities. Clarity, creativity and collaboration. Let us look at each of these qualities and examine their intersections.
Profiling tools have, for decades, been popular ways of helping us to understand behaviour, personality styles and thinking preferences. Because of the insights they bring, they can help individuals as well as teams to function more productively, identify potential sources of conflict and help managers to understand and appreciate the diversity of their workforce.
Most people are unaware of their natural creative problem-solving styles. Using a simple profiling tool to identify preferred approaches has many benefits. If team members know and understand their own and others’ preferences and approaches to problem-solving it can help with decision making, productivity and working relationships.
Our amazing brain is highly responsive. If we nurture it in the right way and provide it with some helpful tools we can become even more creative. In the same way that our muscles develop strength and flexibility when we go to a gym regularly, our brain develops creative capacity when we practice creative thinking. And to continue the analogy, just as having purpose built equipment at a gym can help a workout, using well-crafted, comprehensive, next generation, cognitive tools such as StrateGEE®can help with developing our creative thinking skills.(StrateGEE is a creative problem-solving framework and methodology developed by Dr. Irena Yashin-Shaw.)
StrateGEE shows problem-solvers how to fluidly move among different kinds of thinking modalities in order to developmental flexibility. It takes a ‘whole’ brain approach to problem-solving’ that is more nuanced than the traditional left brain – right brain integration. Rather it is about being able to weave together four different modes of thought and know when to switch among them in order to make our thinking adaptable and agile.
Diversity in teams is a source of strength but can also be a potential source of conflict. A group of people working together is not necessarily a ‘team’ if they work at cross purposes, misunderstand each other’s’ styles, approaches and dispositions and undervalue each other’s strengths.
It is therefore useful for team members to know and understand the creative thinking styles of their fellow team members. Instead of being a source of potential frustration or conflict, people’s different creative thinking styles can be appreciated for the strengths they bring to a team. Highly diverse teams display a greater propensity for creative problem-solving. Research shows that a diverse team will develop better solutions than a team of like-minded experts.
Learning to harness that diversity is a powerful resource for future-focussed workplaces.
Clarity + Creativity = Individual Plans
There is always opportunity to develop and capitalise on creative capacities. Once people are clear about their preferences and understand the various dimensions of the StrateGEE®creativity tool, they can develop an individual plan for themselves to help them to extend their thinking in different ways.
Creativity + Collaboration = Group Problem-Solving
Group problem-solving, is often not well done in workplaces – especially for complex problems requiring creative outcomes. The process can be greatly facilitated through the use of tools and methodologies that prompt people into new ways of thinking. StrateGEE®is a heuristic which helps to support people’s creative thinking as they work through complex situations. It can be used to guide a group through a problem space towards higher quality outcomes using cognitive prompts in the form of questions.
Collaboration + Clarity = Team Profiles
Creating a team profile (or cluster map) based on the aggregate of individual team member’s dispositions gives the team valuable insights into their collective strengths and weaknesses. It is useful for a team to be aware of their ‘mix’ so they can consciously address gaps. An insight into the collective profile of a team’s creative thinking preferences can be an excellent starting place for improving productivity and outcome quality as well as cohesion and relationships. If projects run behind schedule or over budget, some of the reasons for this could be found in the team constituency.
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