Scenario: Multiple Problems

As an action learning coach, how would you handle the following situation:

The problem presented has a multitude of aspects to it. For instance many sub problems within the main problem.

 

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (6)

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    Michael Bloemendal

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    This happened in a recent team, I coached.
    The team concluded that the problem was too complex, but did not know how to proceed.
    I then asked the team whether they knew a method to decompose a complex problem in subproblems. They suggested the use of a fishbone approach to be most suitable. We then wrote down criteria on the flip-over in order to decide which subproblem (if any) was most important to deal with first and was within the control of the problem owner.

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    Jean_1959

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    I’d ask the group how they’d like to proceed – it might be a case of asking the sponsor to restated the problem, or ask the sponsor to prioritize the sub-problems. It sounds like this might extend into multiple sessions.

    I like how Michael approached the situation

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    Claire Davidson-Williams

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    I agree with the approaches highlighted by Jean and Michael.
    I would first bring it to the attention of the group. Then ask the presenter if there is a specific area that is more urgent and important to be of focused in the current session and seek consensus for followup sessions to address unresolved issues.

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    HEEJAE YOO

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    I will make progress for 3 steps.
    Step 1, I ask them to make a list of problems in order to come out.
    Step 2, we classify them into the two groups that one is to be able to AL approach and the other is not.
    Step 3, problems which are categorized for AL approach are prioritized. and we make a discussion one by one.

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    Elaine Henry-McQueen

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    If this is identified during the Action Learning Session such as after the group members have written and stated the problem, I will ask the group “Are we close to the finding the real problem to achieve a breakthough strategy on?” and, after an indication by yes/no responses, ask “How can we ask questions that would allow us to get there?” I will then allow the group to continue working and ask them to write and share the problem again, and continue with the process, until they are close enough. This should allow them to probe root causes, relationships among presenting problems and prioritise.

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    DrBea

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    Great answers. What I have done in these situation is ask the team to write down the real problem we can work on today, The use of the word today helps focus the team in to the time constraints. When it hasn’t I ask the team to write down all the parts and pieces of the problem, then I ask for them – What is the best use of our time given that in xx minutes I’ll be asking what actions you will take?

    If there is not consensus where the team should focus their energy for the remainder of the session, I’ll ask them – How can we come to consensus as to what piece is most important for us to address today?

    I’ll also, ask them how they want to capture the additional pieces so they can be addressed at another session.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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