What are you trying to accomplish? An Affinity diagram may help you decide.
A client of mine was in preparation for what he was calling a ‘Reboot’! Like many of us, him and his company had experienced a challenging year, they lacked resources, people worked long hours and they have a strong sense that their people are exhausted. He has now recruited the majority of his new team and is looking to bring his direct reports and then the wider team together to reenergise them and get their engagement.
Over the course of their two day event, my client has planned some time to get input from his direct reports on the shape and structure of their organisation. His plan was to present the strategy, present the organisational structure and then ask the 10 reports in the room for their thoughts.
I asked him what we was trying to accomplish. There was some pause for thought and then he said;
“My gut tells me we should use what we’ve got, but I’m prepared to change and consider alternatives; I don’t want to spend weeks debating it but it’s important that I get their buy-in!”
How often have you wanted to get input from your team, get their consensus and support for the plan you finally decide upon but what are the risks that not everyone is heard, not everyone agrees and that the conversation deteriorates into an unstructured moan, or deviates from the original topic?
The Affinity Diagram can be a useful tool in these situations.