If your problem solving meetings often
get off on the wrong foot and end with no benefit to your club/group,
then this resource is for you.
There are a number of ways that can
be used to assist with or facilitate group or committee based problem
solving. This booklet looks at three possible methods or techniques but
there are many more. The three methods discussed in this booklet for
conducting problem solving meetings are:
Though these meetings may not be formally chaired, leadership is essential if they are to achieve the results you want.
Committees are established so that the members of the club have a say
on how the club operates or is run. As such it is essential that the
committee make the decisions. This group decision making by the
By undertaking a group or committee problem solving and
decision-making process the objective is to reach a decision and
Brainstorming is quite different from the formal debate of business
meetings. It is used to search for as many ideas as possible – quantity
Brainstorming is simply getting the greatest number of ideas from a
group of people in a short time. It encourages everybody to contribute
ideas uninhibited by formality.
Participants can put forward unusual proposals for initiatives or
problem-solving without the fear of ridicule or embarrassment. Quite
often, worthwhile ideas surface in such a relaxed forum where they would
not in a more formal environment.
As many ideas as possible are recorded but not debated. Display the
ideas put forward. Ideas that are not clear to the group should be
clarified. Ask the group to do this, not just the person who put the
Leaders must be enthusiastic about brainstorming and the positive
results it may generate. They should be prepared to share enthusiasm, be
able to generate noise, laughter and offbeat ideas, while not imposing
their own views.
They must be able to write quickly and clearly as the ideas flow or alternatively a scribe may be appointed.
They should be uninhibited and accept and record all ideas. They
should be able to persuade the group to accept that any judgment of
ideas will be deferred until after the brainstorming session is
Discussion group meetings differ from formal business meetings in the way they are conducted and what they achieve.
They are in fact ideas meetings in which high levels of motivation
are maintained. Special care must be taken to see that the problem, and
not any individual, is tackled.
Formal debate is not used to reach decisions.
The meeting is structured so there is continual focus on the problem or problems you are there to solve. It is important to:
Participants should emerge with a better understanding of issues within the organisation.
Working groups find solutions to problems and then set about implementing them.
Not as free-ranging as brainstorming sessions, nor as ideas-driven as
discussion group meetings, they still achieve measurable results.
Participants take an issue or problem, examine it, provide a written
answer, which is discussed, voted on and then—if appropriate—acted upon.
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