Edward de Bono suggested putting on any of six coloured hats for improved problem solving. That and other similarly genteel methods were discussed in an SMM newsletter, How To Think Better. So when did you last put on a coloured hat in a problem solving session?
Lisa Haneberg raises a much more likely way to go in a recent Management Craft blog post. It’s all described in an article on Transforming Aggression into Creative Problem Solving.
You’ll get the flavour from an early quote:
Too many problem-solving sessions become battlegrounds where decisions are made based on power rather than intelligence. We experience problem-solving sessions as war zones, we view competing ideas as enemies, and we use problems as weapons to blame and defeat opposition forces. No wonder we can’t come up with real lasting solutions!
I couldn’t do justice to the method described in the article in a short post. It’s worthwhile reading for anyone into problem solving who must involve aggressive people. There are some echoes of Open Space Technology here for anyone who thinks about how to use space as part of the approach. As usual, the hardest part is getting started. You’ve guessed it. You’ve got to persuade those aggressive people to sit in a circle together. Perhaps we shouldn’t have given up on trying to get them to wear de Bono’s coloured hats.