Your Task: Design an interesting task or problem for your team to solve together.
Honestly, it doesn’t have to be a work related goal because it might sometimes take the fun of this creative exercise. Try achieving big tasks like creating a professional music video in 4 hours, what usually takes 2 full days. Such big corporate teambuilding activities are great opportunities for the entire team to hit a high in morale, when they achieve ‘miracles’ together, in a shorter than expected time.
“Struggle and insight go together,” says David Perkins, research professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “You are not likely to achieve an insight, unless you’ve struggled with the problem intensely. Breakthrough thinking is usually preceded by a lot of dead ends and bad ideas. “If you look historically at breakthroughs, the story is never just about the key insight. It’s also about what led up to it and what followed it,” says Perkins. “Typically that involves a lot of work.”
Problem Solving Strategies leading to a Breakthrough Moment
Let’s talk about these 4 interesting strategies to solving huge problems, which might seem really impossible to solve.
1) Brainstorming – There are many ways of brainstorming.
a) Individual Brainstorm or brain-writing. It’s really about individual team members owning and voicing their own unique take or opinion, away from the distraction and influence of the opinion of others. Go for quantity rather than just quality. This is a time to be fully open to all sorts of ideas that comes naturally from them.,
b) Random Stimulation – Open a book, point to any random word and treat that word as a lead to solving
c) Try some brainstorm music like Mozart or new age or nature sounds (e.g. water streaming along a slow river)
d) Round Robin sharing – Everyone shares one by one. Opinions of one another’s ideas only voiced out after all have shared
e) Questioning – Generate a huge amount of questions which instantly creates many ideas
f) Group brainstorming – This is a spontaneous fusion and improvisational gathering of ideas. This potentially can gather so many potential ideas for solving problems, hence the idiom “put our heads together”.
2) Change the Problem – “What is the real problem?” Redefine the problem. See it from a new persepective, angle. It’s a type of brainstorming of the problem itself. Many times problems defined too narrowly, when given a new perspective does open new fresh avenues for solving opportunities.
3) Don’t just think out of the same box. Find another box to think from. Find an expert in another context to help your solve your internal problems.
If you’re a team leader faced with a collaboration difficulty managing a talented group of creative design people, for example, try talking with say a Music Director, or a Finance director, someone who works outside your field who might be able to offer an totally-new-box alternative.
4) Move away from the problem. This strategy helps you recover your mental strength that has been expended after extended times of micro-detailing and thinking and analysing solving with seems an entanglement of ideas or possible solutions. Mentally distancing yourself from this micro-fix helps us step back and once again see things from a bigger macro-view of things. importantly, it allows a re-connection of ideas we have been working on. No guarantees but it might just increase the chances of solving a problem.
Remember, behind our biggest individual or corporate usually lie the biggest solutions. Interestingly, the mandarin word for danger seems to point to opportunity. Didn’t someone say the biggest financial market crashes also created most wealth for the rich. Set your team up for success by giving them a huge Corporate Teambuilding challenge this year!