In my facilitating I like to use a simple process that I call the ‘open-close-act’ approach. Faced with a problem, we first open to the widest possible range of solutions before converging and deciding which way to act.
In this process, the first ‘open’ step is essential because people too often jump for the most obvious solution without taking the time to stand back, reflect, and spend some creative moments. The second step is also sometime difficult because people hesitate to take action.
This is very well touched upon in Seth Godin’s post ‘The simple two-step process‘: “The problem most people run into is that they mix the steps and confuse them. During step one, they aren’t open enough, aren’t willing enough to consider the impossible. And then, in step two, fear of shipping kicks in and they stay open too long, hold on to too many options and hesitate.”
This is a reason why in my method I have added a third step, which is action. This needs to be constantly reminded to participants: the goal is certainly to take action – after having undergone a proper process to determine what is the best one.