Recently, a conversation with a client reminded me of a blog post from several years ago in which I explained a team-building and problem solving tool I call How many hats? Not only is this exercise helpful in improving team cohesiveness, but it is also a useful means to overcome differing priorities and “personal agendas” amongst team members. In this recent dialogue though, the topic, while similar, was slightly different. This manager was finding that his team members were frequently disagreeing over when and how to take action on various initiatives underway in the department. Some staffers were keen to jump in and get at the matters at hand; others wanted to hold back and study and evaluate issues before trying to address them. “Both perspectives are valuable,” said the manager, “but my staff don’t see it that way, they just end up constantly at odds with one another.” So I suggested that he try a related tool that I often use in some group facilitations; I call it “The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese”.
Yeah, I know, that’s an unusual title, but it’s a quote, and the title will make sense once I explain the process to you. Continue reading