Developing Team Thinking Skills

It seems like more and more organizations are starting to realize that, even though we might recruit the best individuals for specific roles, most problems (especially more complex problems) require collaborative problem solving rather than one individual’s ability. I would like to know how would you develop TEAM problem solving/decision making skills? What kind of intervention/training would you suggest, or have worked in your experience?

Complexity, capability and other things

I just read an interesting article by David Rock in the Oxford Leadership journal (December 2009, Volume 1) called “Managing with the Brain in Mind” where he says that neuroscience is paving the way for defining future effective leader behaviors. The connections he makes and research he cites is very interesting and there are also some amazing connections to the whole notion of capability, flow, and complexity as well as the Tripod of Work. eg. ” All of life is uncertain; it is the perception of too much uncertainty that undercuts focus and performance. When perceived uncertainty gets out of hand, people panic and make lots of bad decisions.” He also mentions the importance of status, autonomy, relatedness and fairness and the effect they have on the brain and subsequent performance; all of these concepts are intricately linked to the optimal tripod of tasking, tending and trusting.

OD

I attended a conference today on organisational design and development, and facilitated a topic around the role of foresight, as well as the role of senior leaders versus the OD experts; from other presentations it was also fascinating to see how much OD practice links to work complexity, and this reiterated for me again how levels of work serves as not only part of an OD solution but also provides such a powerful way of decribing what is or is not happening in organisations!

To think, or not to think…

Hi everyone.  Now that we are all blogging, I have a question that I hope you could help me with.  Recently a few clients have been asking about “thinking skills training” to improve decision making.  Training in this regard would often involve techniques to improve “conscious” thinking e.g De Bono’s work etc. 

Learning about neuropsychology and complexity as well as reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink” (thinking without thinking) has made me wonder if we are not missing the point.  I am starting to wonder if better decisions is not a factor of “unconcious” thinking made “conscious” (e.g. wisdom, gut feel), and that we are training the wrong skills?  Your thoughts?  If you agree, how can we train wisdom and gut feel?

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A wise man once sat amongst an audience and told a joke. All laughed like crazy. After a moment he told the same joke and a little less people laughed this time. He cracked the same joke a third and a fourth time. When there was no laughter in the crowd, he smiled and said: “If you can’t laugh at the same joke again and again, why do you keep crying over the same thing over and over again?”

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