Practical Problem Solving Activities

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Before the meeting, prepare several sheets of paper with a 2×2 or 2×3 grid.

You want to create boxes big enough for players to sketch their ideas in, but small enough to constrain them to one idea per box.

The notion of “stapling yourself to an order” comes from process improvement, but can be useful in a variety of scenarios.

A group with no documented process, or an overly complex one, will benefit from the exercise.

Part of the reason we end up with under-developed ideas is that we stick with the first good idea we have — rather than taking the time to explore complementary approaches.

6-8-5 is designed to combat this pattern by forcing us to generate lots of ideas in a short period of time.Tell players that the goal with 6-8-5 is to generate between 6-8 ideas (related to the meeting objective) in 5 minutes. The group can ask questions of each player, but this is not a time for a larger brainstorming session. Players can further develop any ideas that were presented by the group as a whole or can sketch new ideas that emerged since the last round.They can continue to work on separate ideas, or begin working on the same idea.However, they often take the words they use for granted; they don’t question their meaning.Other collaborators may understand them differently. Mapping the semantic environment clarifies the language people use and the expectations they bring to an interaction. ) For example: Object of play You can use the Draw Toast exercise to introduce people to the concepts of visual thinking, working memory, mental models and/or systems thinking.Any activity that is not directly related to the forward motion of the object can be noted and then tied off.If possible, add a ticking clock to the story to help pace the flow.Object of Play The Semantic Environment Canvas will help you understand the language, rules, and power dynamics that make it possible for people to accomplish their purposes in particular situations—or hinder them from doing so. If you have more than six people, consider breaking them into groups and assigning separate environments to each group.Duration of Play 20 minutes – 40 minutes Materials Required To run a good session, you will need: Strategy When collaborating, people must be clear they’re using language in the same ways.As with fish in water, we go about our daily business without paying much attention to the language around us and how it influences us.Information architect and author, Jorge Arango developed Semantic Environment Mapping years ago to make visible the everyday language through which we so naively swim.


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