At times in what we and what our clients do we get comfortable. Comfortable can be a good place, but similarly too comfortable can lead to complacency and inattention to what is really happening around us.
This quick exercise works best in a group environment and consists of a few phases.
- In the first phase, a member of the group explains to the rest about an area of their business that they take as stable. As facilitator, you encourage the group to challenge this stability.As an example,
“if a solvent was being used in a manufacturing process, what would be the impact of a solvent shortage on the business?
- After compiling a list of scenarios to challenge the comfortable stability, the questioning turns to reflective support. The second phase is then allowing the member in focus to choose which scenarios they want to work on. Allow them to start at a simple scenario if this helps but do not allow them to dodge the curved ball. Again as facilitator, encourage them to explore how they would work their business if ‘x’ was to happen. Get the group to assist in brainstorming ideas and ensure that all the answers are noted.
- The third phase is a reflection and is prompted by“out of the ‘options’ that we have jointly explored, which one(s) seem the most feasible solutions to the problem of ‘y’ and what are the reasons behind this.”
- Now the smart piece that tests whether the best solution is currently in place. Prompt”With what you now know about your preferred solution, how does this deliver an improved performance above your existing product?… In what way? …. What do you need to do now?”
These steps are simple to follow but can lead to a great breakthrough using a technique of disruptive thinking.