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The Daily Dot is a daily post aimed to give the reader an edge in business and professional development in 2 minutes. It's purpose is to provide interesting, thought provoking and informative content through ideas, up-to-date information and advice focusing on achieving ‘outstanding results’ within a professional context.

Thursday 16 Apr 20

The TakeawayA Method to Empower Your People to Solve Problems

How Do You Ensure You Are Developing The Best Solutions to Your New Problems?

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has now announced that COVID-19 will shrink the UK economy by 35% by June, put into perspective, the economy shrank 6% during the 2008 crash - no doubt, we are all heading for some tough times. As professionals in business, we all need to try to work together and get through these tough times as best we can. 

Among many qualities that leaders should possess, leaders should enable positive change and empower their teams to take action.

Great leaders should ignite their teams to reach their highest performance levels that they can achieve and this is going to be unbelievably crucial in the new economy.

New Challenges Need New Solutions

Presently, we find ourselves in a virtual world where many new challenges need many perspectives to fine-tune the best possible solutions.

Given that isolation and remote working scenarios are now widely adopted, and adopted at a time when we need to be promoting collaboration, it will be easy for some of your people to fall into working in silos. This juxtaposition creates quite a contradictory scenario with many workers furloughed and a lot of companies running on skeleton staff; the need for teams to take more ownership of their problems has never been higher. 

One fantastic method that we use with many of our clients to promote ownership across their teams is to instil Remote Action Learning Sets into their decision making workflow. These provide practical solutions to problems by offering collaboration from different perspectives.

How Do Remote Action Learning Sets Work?

In preparation for an Action Learning Set and before the session starts, you need to appoint an advisor. The advisor chairs the meeting by keeping time, indicating when to move between stages, encourages positive collaboration and promotes inclusion to the session. The appointment of the advisor is a crucial part. The chair is usually facilitated by us, although you could appoint someone internally to be the facilitator. 

Two roles then make up the group: the presenter and the supporters. The Action Set Learning then follows a repeatable 3 stage structure:

  1. Firstly, the presenting round allows the presenter up to 5 minutes to describe the issue or goal and the supporters should sit and listen, understand and show interest. There should be no judgements and no interruptions.

  2. The second part is the questioning round, where supporters should ask open questions to clarify the issue. There should be no solutions offered or advice given as this helps to provide their perspective of the problem.

  3. The third stage is the reflection and action round where the supporters take it, in turn, to make offers, add help or resources, give ideas, voice best practise or provide contacts to help the presenter to solve the issue or achieve the goal. The presenter then has the reflective space to conclude where actions are captured and revised at the next Action Learning Set to provide accountability for the actions they are going to take.

What Do You Have In Place?

Implementing Action Learning Sets are one of many methods that you could use to help empower your people to solve problems and to take action. They are a powerful force for change and give leaders reflective space to draw solutions to problems, but on a broader sense, if implemented correctly, they provide groups of teams the tool to make change happen. 

Having a well-thought-through process to ensure that solutions to your problems are effective has never been as vital as it is today. Not having something in place could lead to valuable time wasted - not to mention potentially huge expense. 

Given the predictions of the economy shrinking, can you afford not to give your businesses problems more thought?

What do you have in place today to empower your people to solve their problems effectively?

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Keep The Learning Going

Ideal in times where face-to-face learning is not possible, these solutions can be introduced into your remote development strategy.

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