Do You Need to Energize Your Company (or an Ecosystem) to Define and Solve a Really Big Challenge?
Our consensus method for technology decisions works in other situations too.
Game Changing Decisions, and Organizational Dynamics
We built our unique tech process to harness strongly held views and organizational dynamics. Here’s why we did it:
With an innovation decision “the best” technology can’t be measured by disembodied performance criteria. To be “The Best” key players across the organization must enthusiastically agree to support the deployment. Otherwise the new thing will be stunted….or die.
Early solution investigations, self-started in parallel and in isolation, will result in even the most benign of directorates going through a conflict phase. Neither directorate will be attracted to the other’s solution. This after both have spent enormous amounts of time to perfect their solution proposals.
Fast, Easy, and Orderly Stages to Rapid Consensus
We’ve found it best to engage individuals in a fast and easy worldwide scan to find any and all technologies and innovations that might be of interest to them -- personally and on behalf of their business unit.
Then we have the individual rank the list of new innovations and technologies they’ve discovered.
Then we roll up the ranked lists of all the individuals in a single virtual discussion environment. Now the group sees the Team ShortList.
And then magic happens:
Out of hundreds of innovations from across scores of technology sectors, there is strong cross-departmental agreement on the Top 20. By default. Automatically. And gracefully.
People are amazed to find others who agree with them on priorities and possible solutions……smoked out and made visible by their mutual attraction to an emerging technology they both had just seen for the first time.
The group’s fact-checking, clarifying questions, smoking out of ineffective innovators and charlatans, all this happens in days – or hours – in our virtual environment.
So, then, detailed investigations of the top innovative suppliers take place in an atmosphere of widely shared anticipation. If the lead directorate does want to deploy an emerging technology, the other directorates are already on-board to play their supporting role.
Applying Our Method to Non-Tech Consensus
Here’s the common thread:
We help a large numbers of people -- become aware of a large number of potential solutions -- to the group’s top-priority problems -- and then arrive at rapid and graceful consensus -- on the very few potential solutions -- that merit the attention of the entire group.
Here are a couple of situations where this could be helpful.
Digging a Big Ditch - Suppose you’re rebuilding the Panama Canal and you have to tear down a mountain, build a railroad, dig a trench, build a dam, and then flood the trench – all on the same patch of ground. And you have to repeat this exercise scores of times, from coast to coast, with hundreds of contractors. And there are about 100 different ways to sequence the work flow at any one site.
How do you get everyone to buy-in on the sequencing? Do you just program a supercomputer to model it out and impose a solution? Or do you ask the contractors to evalute the hundreds of sequence possibilities to tell you what they think?
If the latter, how do you have that conversation, quickly and gracefully?
Regional Workforce Development - In many industries the education and skills required in the workforce are changing quickly. Often, the young workers who have the new skills do not aspire to work in that industry, or they live somewhere else. And the existing workers have no ready path to retool themselves. Educators may not have observed and tallied these gaps. And the industry may not have gathered and articulated their new job descriptions and requirements, or passed them along to local educators.
So, how do you air all this out in a single region, among hundreds of factories, scores of schools, local, state, and federal agencies, public policy NGOs, etc?
Traditional Paths to Ecosystem Awareness and Consensus
Talk about it at the annual meeting
Hold a 2-Day Colloquium
Hire a researcher
Hire an executive director
Have hundreds of coffees at Starbucks
Wait for the problem to pass
…..Or Check Us Out
We may be able to help. Quickly. With very little travel and disruption for the participants.
The common thread is our method: large numbers of people, identifying a large number of potential solutions, and arriving at a consensus ranking of the very few solutions that merit continued development and evaluation.