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Team Problem Solving

Team Problem Solving

Team Problem Solving

It is important to harness the creative power of the whole team.

Have you heard the phrase: "Two minds are better than one"?

The most profitable ideas are usually the fruits of more than one brain. These ideas are usually the fruits of many minds working in harmony, to solve a shared problem.

You need to know how to combine the team's ideas, so the result is not from any one individual, but is rather, the combined efforts of the whole team.

Team creativity is best achieved when its members are working in a cooperative and harmonious way. The best way to do that is to use the Mastermind Principle.

"The Mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in PERFECT HARMONY, for the attainment of a common, definite objective." Napoleon Hill

Tips for creating a Mastermind.

A Mastermind works best, when the members of the team are operating in an attitude of mutual respect and friendship.

The Mastermind alliance does not work at all when there is political game-playing, point scoring, one-up-manship, egotism and character clashes or major disagreement about the purpose or direction of the team.

The whole point of the Mastermind is to harness the joint CREATIVE brain power of its members. That creative spark is only present when people are working together in a cooperative union.

We find that when two or more people come together in a spirit of cooperation and harmony, with a shared purpose, then their creative output seems to be the product of its members, not the sum of its members.

Meaning, three people are six times more creative than one (ie 1 x 2 x 3).

Four people are not four times as creative as one person. Four people, if they are in a proper Mastermind relationship are 24 times more creative than one person (1 x 2 x 3 x 4).

We find that Masterminds need to be limited to between about 2 and 7 people. We find that once we get to groups bigger than seven, there is a tendency for the cell to split into two cells. Like an amoeba. The more people there are in a group, the harder it is for everyone to gel with everyone else.

It seems that people naturally organise themselves into small units of about seven or fewer members. For example, the smallest unit in an army is called a Squad and usually consists of seven people.

The members of the Mastermind should have a mix of skills.

You don't want seven goalkeepers in your Mastermind. You need variety and as much education and variety of experience in the room, at the same time.

Disagreements are okay so long as they are about the method, NOT the goal.

The goal must be shared. The methods to achieve the goal should be variable.

The Mastermind should meet at regular intervals and should ask and answer the following questions.

  1. What is the goal we are trying to achieve?
  2. What is our current plan of action?
  3. What is the feedback we have been getting?
  4. What has been going well?
  5. What has not been going so well?
  6. In relation to what has not been going so well, what can we adapt, alter, omit or change, that will improve the current situation?
  7. In relation to what is already going well, what can we do to improve on our best?

Examples of the Mastermind Alliance

Every great enterprise is the product of a Mastermind alliance.

  1. The building of the Apollo.
  2. The building of the iPhone.
  3. Producing a can of Coca-Cola.

With whom could you form a profitable Mastermind alliance?

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About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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