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Engage and Inspire Through Collaborative Problem Solving

Presentation for the Professional Women's Association (PWA) Conference at UCSB.

As a manager, our tendency is to believe we must “have it all figured out” in order to provide clear direction to our teams. But, what happens if we engage our staff in ideation and planning for our projects? This approach creates a broader range of possibilities, lifts the sole burden of decision making from the manager, and inspires ownership and sense of purpose to provide more job satisfaction among our staff. This hands on workshop will demonstrate the power of leveraging the unique talents of your team and some practical methods for bringing them together to create more robust, innovative, and diverse solutions.

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Engage and Inspire Through Collaborative Problem Solving

  1. 1. ENGAGE AND INSPIRE THROUGH COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING PWA Conference | May 10, 2016 Kate MacCorkle @KateMacCorkle Jaimi “J.J.” Kercher @jjkercher
  2. 2. AGENDA About Us Icebreaker Activity Collaboration Framework Final Activity
  3. 3. ABOUT US KATE Senior UX Researcher USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN LOOK aesthetics organization FEEL sentiment flow USABILITY functionality intuitiveness J.J. Director, User Experience
  4. 4. Icebreaker Activity
  5. 5. PROBLEM SOLVING It’s fiscal year close, and the staff in your department are feeling burnt out and tired. Brainstorm ways that you could re-energize, appreciate, and celebrate staff for a job well done. • Brainstorm ideas silently [2 minutes] • Find a partner and share your ideas [3 minutes] After discussing with your partner and hearing some ideas from others, would you still stick the original plan you came up with on your own?
  6. 6. Building a Culture of Inclusion
  7. 7. MAKE IT FLAT Don’t let your org chart be a decision roadmap Everyone in the room has unique talents, operate as equals Decisions made in isolation lack a variety in thinking
  8. 8. CELEBRATE DIVERSITY...AND CONFLICT Promote an environment of trust and respect, regardless of role or experience Healthy conflict ensures a problem will be approached at different angles
  9. 9. EMPOWER OTHERS, AUTONOMY WITH DIRECTION Reject the traditional, command and control model Articulate the problem, the outcome, and any constraints Letting individuals figure out the “how” saves you time and builds confidence
  10. 10. BE A SERVANT LEADER Share ownership & responsibility Put others first Focus on enabling your staff to do what they do best Results in an employee who feels important and cared for
  11. 11. Collaboration Framework
  12. 12. What are the constraints? What is flexible? How will we know if we are successful (outcomes) How will we measure success? PHASE 1: UNDERSTAND What is the problem? Who are we solving it for? What are their needs and expectations? What’s driving the effort?
  13. 13. TOOLS FOR UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? define the initiative…why are we here? WHATARE THE CONSTRAINTS? What MUST we do or not do? WHAT IS FLEXIBLE? where can we be creative? WHAT IS DRIVING THE EFFORT? why is this initiative important? WHO ARE WE SOLVING FOR? target audience…who will benefit? CONSIDERATIONS, NEEDS AND EXPECTATIONS WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? how will we know we solved the problem well? HOW WILLWE MEASURE SUCCESS? VALUE PROPOSITION what is our proposed solution, and why do we think it will work? THE PROJECT ONE-PAGER
  14. 14. PHASE 2: DIVERGE Explore solutions on your own Accommodate a variety of thinking and problem-solving styles • Extroverts who talk to think • Introverts who think to talk Gives everyone a voice
  15. 15. TOOLS FOR DIVERGENT THINKING MIND MAPPING CARD STORMING STORYBOARDINGPINTEREST
  16. 16. PHASE 3: CONVERGE Share individual ideas Group brainstorming Build off of one another’s ideas Narrow down the one or few best solutions Build consensus as a team
  17. 17. TOOLS FOR CONVERGING + AFFINITIZATION SKETCHING DOT VOTING
  18. 18. PHASE 4: TEST & LEARN Draft your proposal Find your “guinea pig(s)” Collect feedback Iterate
  19. 19. TOOLS FOR LEARNING AND ITERATION IN PERSON FEEDBACK SURVEYS MOCK TRIAL / ROLE PLAY
  20. 20. Final Activity
  21. 21. STAFF APPRECIATION WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? define the initiative…why are we here? WHATARE THE CONSTRAINTS? What MUST we do or not do? WHAT IS FLEXIBLE? where can we be creative? WHAT IS DRIVING THE EFFORT? why is this initiative important? WHO ARE WE SOLVING FOR? target audience…who will benefit? CONSIDERATIONS, NEEDS AND EXPECTATIONS WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? how will we know we solved the problem well? HOW WILLWE MEASURE SUCCESS? VALUE PROPOSITION what is our proposed solution, and why do we think it will work? THE PROJECT ONE-PAGER It’s fiscal year close, and the staff in your department are feeling burnt out and tired. Wait until fiscal close Budget = $30 per staff member Event or activity Day/Time of Day Vendors Give staff the opportunity to relax and feel appreciated for their hard work this year. Employees in your department Most staff is over 35 years of age Want to feel good about their work They like beer & wine Want to get their mind off of work Gluten free and vegan Staff members are excited and re- energized % of staff who participate Staff satisfaction survey
  22. 22. STAFF APPRECIATION - CONVERGE Organize into groups of 4 to collaborate with. • Affinitize Ideas [5 minutes] • Dot Vote on themes [2 minutes] • Write draft proposal [15 minutes]
  23. 23. STAFF APPRECIATION - PROPOSAL As a group, write your solution proposal. • How will you solve the problem? • What are the details/logistics of your solution? • How did the project one-pager affect or inform the details? • What are the risks, unknowns, or assumptions in your proposal?
  24. 24. Presentations
  25. 25. OUR FIRST DRAFT WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? define the initiative…why are we here? WHATARE THE CONSTRAINTS? What MUST we do or not do? WHAT IS FLEXIBLE? where can we be creative? WHAT IS DRIVING THE EFFORT? why is this initiative important? WHO ARE WE SOLVING FOR? target audience…who will benefit? CONSIDERATIONS, NEEDS AND EXPECTATIONS WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? how will we know we solved the problem well? HOW WILLWE MEASURE SUCCESS? VALUE PROPOSITION what is our proposed solution, and why do we think it will work? THE PROJECT ONE-PAGER Plan an activity for your department to celebrate fiscal year close. • Location? • Food? • Activities? In July Budget = $30/pp (staff only) Serve food Day/Time of Day Entertainment (music, games, etc.) Decor Vendors Indoor/Outdoor Give staff the opportunity to relax and feel appreciated for their hard work this year. Employees in your department Most staff is over 35 years of age Moderate activity level Beer & wine Get their mind off of work Gluten free and vegan People come to and enjoy the event % of staff attending Post-event satisfaction survey
  26. 26. THANK YOU!

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