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Discover 7 Fast and Proven Problem-Solving Strategies Every Team Can Use to Achieve Amazing Results


60 minutes

Let’s face it, time is one of the most precious commodities we all cherish. Yet, we find ourselves in a race against ourselves. Looming deadlines, multiple priorities, and hybrid teams all tug on us.

We find ourselves in endless, unproductive meetings trying to solve challenges and problems. Meeting experts report that people can spend more than 10 hours a week in some meetings focused on solving workplace challenges. To add more pain to our current reality, many of us feel that the topic of how problem-solving approaches are facilitated is often out of our control. Our approach to problem solving and collaboration needs to change.

Join us for our interactive webinar, where we will share seven fast and proven problem-solving methods that move teams from overload to action. You will gain insights, approaches, and frameworks to apply immediately to your work.

Attendees will learn

Problem-solving strategies and techniques including:

  • Mash-Up Ideation
  • The Sailboat
  • Bread Boarding
  • Effort/Impact Scale
  • Road Mapping
  • Problem Framing
  • Draw Toast 


Who should attend

  • Managers and supervisors
  • HR and training professionals
  • Anyone on a remote, hybrid, or in-person team



Judith Cardenas

Judith Cardenas, PhD, is the President and CEO of Strategies By Design, a boutique consulting firm helping organizations across the globe to innovate and design successful solutions and experiences for their clients. She has spent the last 10+ years empowering leaders and organizations to execute their vision and reach their goals through processes focused on innovation, change, and co-creation. Her academic background includes a doctorate in education administration, as well as a doctorate in training and performance improvement. She has completed a variety of postdoctoral training, including leadership development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government , Professional for Return on Investment from Villanova University plus holds a number of  certifications in Innovation and Design Thinking. Judith has created and delivered training to organizations and agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations, QVC, Inc., Phillips Semiconductor, U. S. Navy, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency and U.S. Army, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development/UT Austin and American College of Radiology. Connect with Judith on LinkedIn and Twitter



Brand - Product design

Strategies By Design helps foster the culture of innovation needed to stay competitive in today’s modern, ever-changing market. Applying innovative techniques and approaches to achieve immediate engagement and growth, enhancing the connection between behavior design and human-centric design.


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Discover 7 Fast and Proven Problem-Solving Strategies Every Team Can Use to Achieve Amazing Results


Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s Webinar, Discover Seven Fast and Proven Problem-Solving Strategies Every Team Can Use to Achieve Amazing Results hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Doctor Judith Cardenas.


My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The Webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions, please type them into your question into your question area on your GoToWebinar control panel and we’ll answer as many as we can during today’s session.


Today’s webinar is sponsored by Strategies by Design Group: Strategies by Design Group specializes in supporting leaders and organizations that are ready to innovate faster and more successfully and want to design better solutions or experiences for their customers and employees.


They help foster the culture of innovation needed to stay competitive in today’s modern and ever-changing market.


Strategies by Design group applies innovative techniques and approaches to achieve immediate engagement and growth to enhance the connection between behavior design and human centric design.


Learn more at


I’m excited to introduce our presenter today, Doctor Judith Cardenas. Yes, Judith’s expertise is at the intersection of behavior design and innovation. Her academic background includes a Doctorate in Education Administration, as well as a Doctorate in Training and Performance Improvement.


She completed a variety of postdoctoral training, including Leadership Development at Harvard University’s, John F Kennedy School of Government, and Human Resource, Human Performance Improvement at the American Society for Training and Development, and Human Capital Analytics. Not only is she certified as a registered Business Coach and a professional for return on investment for going over University, but she also holds certifications in innovation from MIT.


Judith created and delivered training to organizations and agencies such as the World Bank, United Nations, QVC, the US Navy, and US. Army and the American College of Radiology. It’s wonderful to have you with us today, Judith.


Thank you, thank you, Sarah, and welcome, everyone, to our webinar.


So I’m thrilled to be with you today to talk about two of the most exciting techniques that we use to actually increase engagement and collaboration across our teams and the many teams that we work with globally.


So let’s face it for all of us, time is one of our most precious commodities that we all treasure.


For me, when a meeting finishes five minutes early, I am the most excited, and, when I was, when I see media canceled on my calendar, I secretly to tell myself, Good, I gain and our again back some time.


And after talking to a number of colleagues, we found out the exact same thing.


That time for them was one of the most precious commodities.


Yet, many of us believe that we have control over time.


However, we’re pulling in so many directions, So even this morning got up, made my master list of the things I needed to get accomplished. I didn’t quite make it, through the quarter, or the top of the list.


Pull the law directions, phone calls, text messages, Slack messages, you name it. It happens.


So, when I talk to many of our colleagues, and the teams that we actually helping increase their engagement and collaboration, they tell us that they have tons of meetings, and now lots of Zoom calls.


Then, they’ll have a meeting to talk about what happened at the meeting.


And they might have, you know, Watercooler that’s been created for them, and they end up talking about things that don’t necessarily move them forward as a team or as a leader.


So, there’s a swirl of action, little moment, and that is really the challenge that we’re finding almost on a daily basis.


One of the first questions we ask our leaders when we’re trying to ascertain what is the real challenge. They’ll say, we have lots of activity. Our calendars are filled with Zoom Meeting, the Zoom links and Google Meets and things of that nature.


And, yet the progress towards many of our projects, they just don’t seem to be moving.


So, what we’ve actually done is, we’ve added complexity to our teams, and our teams have become complex for a number of different reasons, and they didn’t necessarily create it.


So, team, team, dynamic can be quite interesting.


And, I find team dynamics to be a challenge, curiosity, almost like a puzzle.


We also know that all teams have personalities.


We have worked with teams that are just hilarious gregarious, so connected. Well, other teams, the bearish here. anything during that time, during the times we have our meetings with them.


We do have the zombie teams, which basically, we don’t hear much of, you can hear a pin drop actually during the sessions and then we’ve got some people on the team who just can’t wait to get this meeting done.


And I have to confess, sometimes I’m one of those people like, let’s get the meeting going. Let’s get this going.


And so we also have another part of a team, that, we have some team members who are just like, oh, my gosh, not another project.


So the list goes on. And I can imagine, all of you are thinking of, yep, I’ve experienced some of this. I have my own team personalities or personalities. All my team. They are expressed in very different ways.


So Sarah, if you can help me out, we’d love to take our first poll.


And we’d like you to help us characterize what your team dynamics are like.


I am like, oh, my god, they’re sharing too much information.


Uh, that’s collaborate.


Is it a bottomless conversation by or your team’s highly focused while having fun and engaging?


So, Sarah, are you out there?


Yes. We have the poll. I’ll give everybody a few more, and we have some responses coming in, already give you a few more moments here to submit your answer and then we’ll share those results.


Thank you.


And, again, I’m really excited to hear a little bit about the personality of your team and team dynamics.


And just five more seconds here.


You haven’t submitted your answer yet.


OK, great, so we’ll share those results now. Can you see those on your side, Judith?


No, I can’t. Yeah. Yeah, OK, great.


Yeah, love these results.


So, 12% of you have a … people, maybe on your team. 40% say that you can’t judge your team dynamics is sharing too much information.


8% let’s collaborate. Let’s just go right in and collaborate. 38% of you have said, bottomless conversations.


Lots of conversations going on.


maybe not as much movement or momentum, then 28% said, they’re highly focused for fun and engaging and congratulations to those teams that are highly focused and button and engaging.


So, let’s take this to the next step and a little bit about our work.


Our teams come to us with so many goals and aspirations and challenges.


They experienced the high, and the low of teen dynamics.


Then, you add the additional layer of technology, which, for some teams, as has, enhance the collaboration.


For others, it’s that true collaborations.


It’s simply another modality of sharing information or communicating with each other.


Couple of things that we know, with the technology, that it’s hard to really read people’s body language.


When I’m on the Zoom call, or a GoToWebinar, or have GoToMeeting, call, and I’m able to see the participants.


I can’t really tell a multitasking. Is there, are they texting, while they’re looking at the screen, which some of us have that great ability to do, and it’s hard to really read by language as if you were in person.


So face-to-face collaboration is quite different than collaboration that occurs due to technology.


Then we’ve also noticed that, even though you come with aspirations and you’re excited and you have a new project, sometimes all the means begin to sell the same.


You can’t really differentiate the most urgent kind of meeting or urging kind of initiative with the mean that has had no, has been on the books because it occurs every week, at the same time, on the same day.


They sound the same. The agendas even look very, very similar.


We’ve had new ways of creating some kind of momentum and disrupting the way we connect.


So we’ve added cheap icebreakers.


Are watercooler, galleries, or even virtual parties, even with all those different types of dynamics that have been added into our toolkit of team collaboration, yeah.


We still aren’t able to break problems, create energy, move our teams to consensus, or even create sustainable momentum.


When we talk to leaders, not only leaders, but just team members, they’ll say we really never get to consensus. Sometimes we just give up to get to consensus.


Or we don’t have a distinct way of solving problems.


We tend to do round robin, and everybody has to open their mind, say something, and then they unmute, some people talk while they’re muted.


There’s just really, though, distinct change of how we really solve problems.


All we’ve done is adaptive technology into our everyday problem solving and collaboration mechanism without actually having a different way or different approach to increase collaborations.


So, Sarah, we’d love to do another poll to see, like, what’s your biggest struggle with engaging your teens, do you have meeting fatigue, Are there too many projects and priorities? Are your priorities always changing?


So, Sarah, can you open up the poll for us?


Yes, so we have the poll launched, and you can take a few moments here to submit your answer. I already see some responses streaming in.


Oh, and their responses are interesting, too.


Let’s say, well, Gabriel.


Maybe 10 more seconds here.


This is going to be exciting to see what the results are, I’ll share the results now, do you see those on your site data?


Not yet. Yes, I do now. Wow.


28% obese struggle with me in fatigue. Like, another meeting, here we go.


Too, too many projects.




The number one thing we hear from people that we code to collaborate with is even working remotely.


Our work has almost doubled or tripled, we have a lot of things going on, and 40% of you said, ever change your priorities, so when you have ever changed your priorities, how do you know what to focus on, what things keep moving?


So very, very interesting results. And thank you for sharing those with us. And we also had a couple of comments coming through on that, and that pull their, Robert said, specifically online meeting, fatigue, excuse me. And then we had some, some responses coming through saying all of the above.


Oh, wow, OK, well thank you for sharing. That is so interesting about the online meetings as well. I know that by the end of the day, I don’t think I can handle in other zoom meeting.


I don’t know how many of you out there feel the same way, but boy, I can, I can really empathize with that. And so then to have all of the above, having meeting fatigue and too many projects and then changing priorities, it’s just, you know, you empathize with each other and for each other.


And that’s really has really become part of one of our quests.


So we spend a lot of time in the innovation space and designing innovation solutions, but you cannot have innovation without having collaboration and agility, and a place to Belfast and move forward fast.


And so it’s become a quest to really try to, to crack that nut. Like, how do we? How did we get there?


Because until we get there, our overarching goal of design and innovation environment, we won’t get there.


So we wanted to find proven strategies every team can use to capture the brilliance of the team.


And let’s face it, every team is brilliant.


But not every team has the ability to express that brilliance when we are actually using the same kind of approaches and problem solving and collaborations.


Now I did a quick poll with some of the people that I work with and ask them if they would mind sharing what a meeting agenda look like and shot over 90% of the agenda. Looks exactly the same.


Who’s to say that a meeting is to be an hour long?


It moves to say that we need to have the same agenda items just listed in bold with some sub tasks underneath it.


No one.


So now it’s time for us to really find strategies and approaches that we can use that can help us break that momentum, energize people back into the space and get them moving from swirling, to actually moving from the activity to actually creating momentum.


So what we’re going to do in the next, the rebate it’s herself, is to talk to you about seven proven strategies.


I’m going to go through each of the strategies and step by step on how you can actually use the strategy itself.


And you know, So if we go to batch, if you have any questions, please add them in therapy. See any questions along the way, please stop me so we can answer them as we move forward.


Yes, OK, so Strategy number one. Mashup ideation.


I love mashup ideation, mashup ideation, is when you frame your challenge, participants brainstorm around different areas of the challenge.


Then you combine elements from all those different areas to actually create a new concept.


What we were finding was that teams would bring their challenge and brainstorm.


They’re challenged from only one perspective.


They didn’t look at technology, human needs, existing services.


are our stakeholders, not just different aspects to make sure that the brainstorming from different perspectives, to frame the challenge or even reframe the challenge?


And then combine elements from those areas to create a new concept.


So mashup ideation is fun.


It also gives people who have an expertise in a specific area to shine in that expertise.


So we found a lot of times, people had expertise in technology and they knew, from a technology perspective, this challenge head, this, no way of looking at something. Well, somebody from the human side, the people side, the customer service site, would say, no, no, no, this challenge at this different perspective.


So it allows everyone to have their expertise shine.


So this is one, great mashup ideation is one great way to get your team moving from always actually brainstorm into solution to combining elements from very different areas.


Strategy to the sailboat, use it every day, even use it with myself.


So the sailboat is quite simple.


It’s a great metaphor to help teams figure out what’s moving them forward and what’s holding them back when it comes to the challenge that they’re trying to resolve.


Especially when the priorities changing ship consistently for a leader, what ends up happening is that, you will find that when people are, sumi pulls them back and assuming we’ll pull them forward, are very different assumptions. And they may have some commonality. And they may have some relationship to the real issue at hand.


And it’s really important to have the sailboat image drawn out, which we do have the image that was here.


We actually have a drawn out on the white board, where we actually have people say, those things that are pulling you back, put them on the anchor area, in the bottom, below the water.


And those things that are pushing you forward, put them on the, the, the, the sale part of the boat that’s going to push you forward in there.


This team gives it a quick visual.


Well, we also would recommend, instead, you have a sailboat for each one of your projects, from a leadership perspective, what you will start seeing a common trend and common themes of what’s pulling your team back.


I’m pushing you to bullet.


We noticed that when one team leader actually did this for three of her projects, she found that there was a common bottleneck among all three projects.


That was the lack of the ability to pull real-time data.


That, in and of itself, gave her a different perspective on how to move this team forward.


So you want to give your team an exercise to visualize and understand their challenges and to reveal emerging and repeating themes.


So that’s the sailboat team.


So here’s the outcome.


Got the sailboat, give you 2 5 minutes to note down what’s moving them forward.


Ask them to put those notes into the top of the sailboat.


Ask them to identify the challenges that every, regarding this project and liaison at the bottom of the sailboat, then you’ll start seeing some interesting themes and patterns and having those discussions, We actually have leaders, who will put a sailboat on a whiteboard, or even just, on, a, virtual whiteboard, and a team member can put, their challenges, are, what’s pushing the board, any time, prior to meeting, Or maybe this, first five minutes, by first 5, 10 minutes of your meeting.


So the outcome is that it gives you a categorized list of challenges and issues to work on.


It also stops that dread momentum of having everybody go around the room, open it up there, Mike, talking about something.


This is a quick way to get some action, and to get some visualization, so your whole team can see what is really pulling the team forward and back.


Now, this is one of the most interesting.


I don’t think that’s a correct spelled word, so I will check on that again, but this is really about, yeah, it says about bread board. So we have toolbar. We’re making a toast making them embed boarding.


So that boarding, it’s a storyboard kind of exercise that creates a course of action without defining every step.


It’s pretty powerful, and we use with teams who have multiple priorities.


So they would like multiple projects that are competing for resources.


They will take each project to create a storyboard.


And here are the steps: you draw out eight grids, or even digitally on a whiteboard, you label each grid with a title of a mega step, that will lead to the overall solution.


When you have multiple projects or initiatives that are competing with each other, you’ll start seeing some common themes of mega steps.


You can identify three ideas for each of the grids, and then your facilitated discussion with the team, and fill out the remainder of the cell.


So basically, what you want to do is create your three mega steps.


If I had to create a solution to identify how to best on board an employee here, or what my eight steps would be, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, here’s what the first mega step is, and the second mega step, then third, and then you just write them out, and then you brainstorm ideas under each of them.


This really gives the team a very different, not only visualization, but even a point in time of the journey that is really connected, good solutions that we create.


We’re constantly creating customer journey, employee journeys experiences, all around issues and challenges that we see.


So, this particular activity takes a little bit longer.


It makes they’d be takes about 12 minutes, but it’s really quite powerful. And it gives people to space, to create their own ideas and brainstorm with themselves, before brainstorming with the team as a whole.


So, now you have a quick and easy plan of action.


If you can imagine taking this storyboard, brainstorming gained three ideas for each, and then having a conversation to even vote on the top three ideas for each, at the end of the meeting, you would actually have a quick and easy plan of action.


So, now, it’s not painful to break up a project into its smallest elements.


Can you imagine having a meeting 45 minutes long, with a challenge that you could actually create eight mega steps, brainstorm some solutions, identify it agree on what those ideas could be for that mega step, and have a plan of action at the end of 45 minutes?


That would drill me to feel like I was came to a meeting, and we are actually co-creating a solution together.


Strategy 4 is 1 that we do find used a lot, but we find good use Often in the place are integrated, more like in the strategic planning session, and let’s see, Effort, Impact Scale.


So a lot of organizations use an effort Impact Scale, but oftentimes they’ll use it for project management. Or they might use it in a strategic planning session after a SWOT analysis. Or they may use it, you know, just in a different format.


But, what we have found is that when you integrate an effort impact scale, into your meetings, you do start getting a different sense in a higher level of empathy, for where your team members are, actually.


Their perspective, as they’re looking at the challenge, So, we create an easy impact effort.


Matrix like the one that you haven’t found to be, again, that could be done in a virtual board, as well as that can be done.


If you have a whiteboard in your office, we asked for each participant, should focus on the challenge at hand.


Step number one, in and of itself, can be quite powerful, because what we have found is that sometimes every team member is defining the challenge in a different way.


So even having each participant focus on the challenge at hand, you agree on what the challenge really is, what the bottleneck is, what the opportunity is, what the challenge really is.


Then it’s easier to identify 3 to 5 ideas on how to tackle this challenge, then have each person place or idea. This could have really great impact.


Boy, it would take a lot of resources, but this would take very little effort, but it will have really great impact.


And, again, it’s just a way of having everyone articulate the challenge, agree upon the given challenge, identify 3 or 5 ideas there that could bring a solution to this challenge. And actually give them seven minutes to facilitate a discussion of why they think that idea is, like, one of the best ideas to help them move forward.


And then have them put them on impact and effort scale, because it may be a wonderful idea.


But, if you have multiple priorities, sometimes, you just don’t have the effort. There’s just no time, or resources, or enough, you know, effort to actually help that solution come to fruition.


So, this whole exercise, in it, of itself, the impact effort’s statement, could take about 15 minutes of a meeting time, but it’s like gold, you know, for us, Number one, brings a lot of clarity for participants to really agree on what the real challenges.


And, for number two, to give everyone the ability to Haiti, and to maybe design ideas of how this challenge can actually be addressed, then actually measure the impact and the effort of those particular ideas.


Everyone’s voice is heard.


Everyone has the ability to articulate why they believe their particular idea is important, and yet, everybody understands how the idea is going to be measured.


It will be measured against an impact, ratio, and scale.


Road mapping is another fun strategy that we use the Teams, so this is in your everyday Project Management tool.


You start by gathering all your solutions, concepts, and ideas that you’ve already generated.


And let’s face it, we have teams at once they see the title of the project or the problem or the solution. You know the issue at hand Solutions come right behind. Oh, they already know how to adjust that, or they may have an idea in mind already.


Then we asked her team to pull their calendars.


They can be realistic about their billable time to deliver on the action of projects.


Now this is really important to have your calendar in front of you as you’re designing a plan of action.


So, you’ll use a pipe work to display your actions.


You’re going to identify the appropriate timeframe for your project.


Now, all the projects have the same timeframe.


And for many of us, time frames can run anywhere from a day.


And I’ve really seen projects that can last years.


But, you really want to have that discussion with your team of, what’s a realistic time frame for this project that we have, this challenge that we have?


I know you have ideas, and I know you have particular solutions, but let’s look at the timeframe overall.


It can be week by week, month, by month, or even quarter by quarter.


This is really critical, because this is what’s going to, this is the beginning of your framework for actually designing your plan of action for a project.


So, once the challenge has been identified and the timeframe for your project has been identified, then you can start filling out the ideas that you want to test out by day, by week, or by month.


What you do is, you present the first idea to the group and ask who is best to take responsibility for delivering this action?


Some people will automatically say, I can do that.


I know I could do that. I do that every day.


What disagreed on? Who can do it?


Then, you decide the end date for that particular variable of your project deadline.


And you agree on the task and the deadline, and you put it on the calendar.


And, again, if you can imagine leaving a meeting with an actual plan of action, who is responsible date on the calendar, understanding other priorities that are like eating up, calendar space, that’s where we want you to bring your calendar to the meeting.


What basically happens is that you leave the meeting with very distinct kind of action.


You have an action or the start date, you have a reference of a timeline, and you also have a reference of who was taking what leadership and what space.


Now, for me, as a leader, this would have been gold, because as soon as my boss would ask me a question, I could say, Yep, we got it, here’s our problem.


Here’s what we believe the actual challenge is, here are some of the solutions that we’re going to test out and work on.


Here’s our timeline, and here’s the president, who’s gonna be responsible for ensuring that particular piece is going to be tested and launched as it relates to the project.


In 1 45 minutes session, you can have this entire kind of action created, and placed on a wall, share it on your computer, shared in an app, on Slack, whatever, however you communicate.


This particular approach gives you just a very different plan.


Now, remember, our poll a few minutes ago, when people are, they’re just, they’re tired, they’re overwhelmed. There are so many meetings and lots of priorities.


Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just, and where are these two techniques, and just shift the momentum, so that the team is really focusing on those actions, and then they can move on to the next thing.


So that is another one of our strategies that we use.


So, here’s an example of one of what our boards looks like in our office, is that when we actually work with our team, to figure out what hurdles Taskers centered need to be tested out, or someone needs to be contacted, or, a team needs to be pulled together, you want to get to some level of specificity.


You want to know; can I do that within 24 hours?


Can I put a Slack message today?


Can I do it within a week or within a month?


And only your team knows the multiple priorities and projects that they’re working on.


And, with the data that we collected today, if there’s just so many different priorities that are all always changing, this particular activity could be very, very, very helpful.


We color code our boards to so that we know what color of a board is connected to which project.


We’re repeating for almost every action, and it’s just a really great way to uncover time challenges for constraints.


Sometimes, it gives, it gives the people on the team almost like full authority of the time.


We’ve had people say, I can look at my calendar, and I know I’m going to be off next Friday, but I know I can get this task done by within 24 hours. So let me just get it done.


So it empowers the people on the team empowers the leader by giving them an amazing, cool framework that in the end of a meeting session that can actually have something done, And it also can you can also identify some easy wins.


What’s amazing is that we’ve worked with teams that were really great in ideation.


They had a huge challenge.


They could create solutions, but they weren’t really always tested, and sometimes, there were some easy wins in there that the team needed to have, and the leadership needed to have, but they were just whole bubble down into this thing called, a project management system.


So, again, just a quick and easy way.


This may take you, maybe a couple of meetings until you get your feet wet and actually walk you through the process.


But having everyone bring their calendar to the meeting, as well as understanding the challenge and then ID, you know, the different solutions and task us relate that challenge, can make the team move very quickly through a challenge and create solutions in a very fast and easy way.


And then that just becomes almost like a cool way to too, address challenges as they move forward.


Now, this particular strategy, I’m up.


I love this picture. I love toast and love to help people draw toast.


So I don’t know how many of you actually have uses exercise with your team?


But what it does is happening is that it does break the monotony. It also gives you, as a leader and other team members, some really great insights. So let’s talk about join toast.


Dry and Toast is a very fun exercise and against your team out of the usual thinking patterns.


What we were noticing is that people play Sue, similar roles, no matter what team they were on.


They were either the problem solver or they were the IT person, or they weren’t the solution designer or they’re the ones who pulled out the data, and although those areas of expertise are sorely needed in check in facing some of the challenges that we have right now in the workplace.


It also gets people a little bit stuck in their thinking patterns.


So it becomes almost like a methodical, and sometimes, those methodologies blinds you to potential solutions that are out there that you just aren’t seen at the moment.


So, drawing toast is a fun way to kinda get your team their usual thinking patterns.


You want to launch a path for sharing different perspectives and ideas.


And you really want to understand how your team members actually look at an idea and actually grapple with it, and actually create solutions and ideas.


So, number one, you explain the scope of the problem you’ll be working on.


Now, this is really important when we put the word scope of the problem, you really want to get to a point where are you, are you creating a solution for mankind or you create a solution for, you know, an initiative in your company that has a certain deadline?


You want to scope it out, scoping it out, gives people an understanding of where in a tight deadline, here are stakeholders and here’s the problem we really need to solve.


So, scoping a problem is critical for this particular exercise.


You want to set the expectations of the group and tell them that you’re going to want to start clean, that you have no solutions in your head. You have no pre-conceived ideas of how this problem is really going to be addressed. And you want to look at this problem with fresh eyes.


But before you do that, you really want your participants to drop toast.


So you set the tariff for three minutes and you tell them, ask participants to draw out the process of making a piece of text.


Now, first, it sounds ridiculous, but results are fascinating when you watch this happen.


After you give everyone, three minutes, each member then shares their drawing.


And, they’re drawing can be, we’ve had people say no, they have to get the toaster out before they actually make a piece of toast. We have people slicing the bread to make the toast. We have other people who need gluten free toast.


We have people who are methodical on moving the little, number scale on the toaster, in regard to how dark the towse should be. You will listen and hear many different iterations of how people make toast.


But what that gives us, as leaders and team members, some real, strong understanding and perspective of, you know, how people view the world, how they do things differently.


I’ve had some people who use, don’t use a toaster. I have one person on the team, a couple of weeks ago, we use the oven to bake a piece of toast of shot.


Didn’t think about that, and I, it was just out of the scope of my reality, but that was the reality.


So, you want to have each team member share their joy on how they make toast.


And the drawings can be fun. The Jylland’s can be very detailed oriented. But what that gives you, as a leader, is a different perspective on how they may be the challenge.


Then, it’s time to actually dive into the actual challenge.


So what you’ve done is you’ve broken a mindset. You’ve changed a pattern. Here we go, again. We have this problem.


Let’s get out our computers that’s figure out how to solve this issue. And this particular activity gives it’s not really an icebreaker.


It’s really a mindset receptor.


So you are shifting people’s mindsets by understanding how they understand an issue, how they analyze an issue, and how they actually go after an issue.


So after they do their toes, they show their drawing.


Now, it’s time for you to dive into the challenge, and you follow the same steps. Yeah.


Each member to draw out how they see the challenge that they are currently working on, the dry part is critical.


They don’t need to be artistic; they need to draw.


I’m going to collect this data. I’m going to talk to this person.


Or, you know, I’m gonna look at pass projects that are similar. You want to see their mindsets, and how they’re going to address this challenge.


So there, you will follow the exact same steps in addressing the Challenge. And you’ll ask your team members to job. Obviously, the challenge they’re working, currently working on.


Finally, one of our favorite ones is problem framing.


Problem framing is actually a mixed mash of some of the first six steps, at least, sometimes, when we see a team that stuck put our toes first and then we actually will go to both mapping, and maybe we’ll have time, we’ll go to Africa impact.


So, as you can tell, you, just start mixing and matching things.


Processes are proven strategies to actually look at, Problem is different, change the collaboration and the energy of your meeting.


There’s a lot of fun ideas and creating value in collaboration and we’d love to open it up. See if you have questions. Do you have ideas?


Are there things do you like to share with us in regard to how you would collaborate?


Do you have some good frameworks that you would like to share with us, on? Things that you could use and would love to hear if any of you would use any of these, one of these seven proven strategies.


So, Sarah, can we open it up for some Q&A and star gains and discussion and dialog on this.


Yeah, so I said if you have any questions, or if you want to make a card out, which strategy you’d like to use, please type that into the question area. And then we have some time here that we can share some of those questions and comments.


Let’s see.


We have a first question here from Wendy, and Wendy said, do you have options for people who do not draw or have different abilities?


Oh, yes.


So we can ask them to go to Google search and pull out images that will show this step by step.


We’ll have people that actually write out their process, so there are some people that are natural writers and not natural drawers.


So when we do storyboarding, you can draw, you can pull images off the website, or you can actually draw yourself.


There’s something that is in the literature around innovation, call, creative confidence, so creative.


Confidence is not necessarily that I can draw like an artist, But it’s yeah. I just have to have the ability to even two stick figures, to actually visualize how flow could happen.


But if I don’t, if I have people who don’t have that ability to even visualize it with pen and paper, or pencil and paper, I do ask them to go to Google Search and just search some images that represent what they are thinking of, an image that actually expresses what they think. It becomes a lot of fun.


And it also gifts you as a leader, you as a person on the team, just a different perspective on how they’re seeing the world, their view of the world.


That’s a great question, thank you.


And Julie asks how do you engage the naysayers ah naysayers. We have them. We have them all types of naysayers.


We have found that the join toast, the process, that particular activity is really great for naysayers, because what we find is that sometimes naysayers are just like, we’ve done this.


We have addressed this issue again, so they’re not necessarily naysaying the approach, as much as they’re tired or fatigued it goes back to the questions that we asked, you guys know, what are you seeing, and we’re seeing a lot of teams that are fatigued.


They know, every issue sounds the same and priorities continue to change, so we like to use the sailboat and the toast metaphor with the sailboat to really understand what is holding them back.


Why are they naysaying, does it sound the same? Is it that they don’t have enough information?


Is it that it feels like a flavor of the month?


Those kinds of things, you know, they are free to say, put it on a post it note, put it on the sailboat.


So we use those two particular activities to kind of adjust, to, to adjust the naysayers and to really break that moment.


So that is what we use.


And Wendy would like to know, have you ever used music or a non-visual medium?


Yes, we have.


We have a system that we use with our clients where, you know, we have breakout rooms and some of our platforms, we have a Zahn room, and then we have a rock and roll room, and we have other rooms that we can actually have people go in.


It actually also helps them increase their creativity.


We also use we like to have people show what inspires them.


And many times, its music, it’s music of a generation, and maybe that’s the generation that we’re creating a solution for.


So, we’re very open to the many different ideas and ways of viewing a challenge, and that could be by music. That could be by a visual, that could be by, we’ve had people use X, especially during Super Bowl. There’s some of the most creative adds. Some of those ads just took tug at your heart. Some people use those advertisements as a way of expressing something, you know, to the team.


So again, it’s found a creative way of having key team members be creative, not this, was on a Zoom call a couple of days ago, and they’re like, they start off with an icebreaker of if you are an animal. Well, that will be like today, that just does not resonate with me.


But, if I have a problem and a challenge that I’m working with a team, and I need to bring some inspiration to the team, definitely, music, video, a commercial that’s out there, that just really speaks to the heart to, even to the heart of the issue, I would open it up, so, that’s a great question.


And then, we have a question here from Kelly and Kelly asks, could you share the biggest lesson learned in implementing collaborations strategies?


The biggest lesson learned is, as either the facilitator, or the leader, is that you need to design the experience you want, the people on your team to have.


We don’t take enough time to actually design the experience journey for them.


So, after a while, everything sounds the same. Everything looks the same, everything feels the same.


And what we know is that not all challenges are the same, and not all solutions are the same, but if I would take time to actually design a learning experience or learning journey, am I need two journeys my meetings or experiences?


So, I’m very focused on designing that before the meeting. Then I tend to look for different tools. I might take the sailboat and change it up a little bit.


Or I may be, you know, Chris, this, you know, during the holiday season, they may not make toast. They might make a cookie.


You know, I get to a place where I want to be empathetic to the people, we’re serving so that they can IBA faster and brainstorm and innovate faster.


So I guess the biggest lesson is designing the experience you want people to have before you actually enter a meeting or a collaborations.


Great, and you have another question here from Alex, who would like to, now. How should I best prepare my team to use these strategies?


Couple of things is if you have a, if you could pull down the, the PowerPoint, that would be Great.


And, Alex, first of all, I would see which ones align with the challenge at hand, so sometimes when, and I would use some of the poll questions that we shared today, maybe use similar Pulse with the team, it’s interesting to know, y’all’s my team fatigue, does my team need a new way?


Solving an issue, does my team need a new approach? Then I would probably take 1 or 2 of the seven strategies, and just test them out.


It’s really amazing how it ends up becoming your norm, of how you do meetings.


I’ve seen more people do the effort impact now all the time.


I’ve seen people have a sailboat, you know, on their desktop, they’re just putting sticky notes, you know, and I’m like, oh, my god, this project, I can’t get this. I can’t get that. It also allows people way to share frustrations without bogging down a meeting.


So I guess the first thing I would do with the team is really identify, what are their needs, what are their struggles, and what are their challenges?


Teams oftentimes will tell you; people will often tell you right now. There are so many meetings so many calls, …


virtual calls in a day that everything sounds the same.


And so this is a great time. I would use this elbow probably initially to then say, OK, for each of our projects we want to know what’s holding you back with moving you forward.


See if you can find some common things, that are occurring within your team, and these themes may not have even been expressed yet.


And then I would also probably add, you know, you know, what’s bogging them down.


So I hear teams that I’ve been in a number of these past couple of weeks where everybody shows up to the meeting, but they put everything either on a chat question like, so they’re chatting, they’re putting all these questions are, and the shell follow up, and there’s no action, So how do you even everyone bring their calendar to a meeting to discuss a challenge, and even doing that small, low project?


Here’s a challenge.


What are some of the solutions? When can we started? How fast can you move? Who wants to take the lead? That, in of itself, creates momentum and not just action.


So assess your team, identify where they have. The biggest pain points.


Definitely would prepare them by using one of the easiest of the seven, which is a sailboat, that also gives you some really great insights where you’ll start seeing common themes of what’s holding people back in common themes. So it’s pushing people forward.


And then slowly introduce the others.


You may not use all seven.


You may find 2 or 3, or just like, this is called as though we can use, or you might find just one.


But the goal is, to really try to add some proven strategies that make your meetings, feel more productive, increase momentum, increase collaboration.


More important, they don’t make your meetings feel like meetings anymore. People really want to go and share their idea, or really want to talk about why they think that idea is the most important, and why takes less effort that has the most impact.


You’ll start seeing people shift their mindsets, so that’s what I would do first.


Those are the couple of steps that I would take prior to actually sharing all the, the techniques with your team.


And Julie has, Julie says, I have a larger team that doesn’t report to me, and I would like to use some of these techniques with them.


Do you have suggestions on how we can implement these strategies with, you know, maybe members who, you know, don’t report to Julie?




So, one of the great things that we have found is some of the, these tools or techniques are what we call very agnostic. So, I will use a sailboat metaphor.


With teams of that, the stakeholders have no reporting to me, but it gives me an understanding of how they’re viewing, what’s, what they believe is pulling a project back, or pulling the project forward.


I would probably use the techniques that are more general, versus tried to change your mindset or mind shift change.


But I would focus on, maybe the, uh, yeah, understanding the challenge. I would even take pieces of some of the frameworks and focus on 1 or 2 things.


For example, if you notice some of the examples that we shared with you guys, is, you know, the very first step is getting clear what the challenges.


And, it’s been very amazing to watch that people perceive with the challenges, but not everybody around the room has the same perception, same, the same definition of the challenge.


So just even understanding, we’re scoping the challenge out.


That could happen regardless of whether people report to you, don’t report to you. But even with the sailboat, I would make the sailboat a little bit more generic.


So, you know, having the sailboat named of the project then, just to understand what’s holding people back.


Or moving them forward towards the goal of addressing the challenge. And it could be anything from time, or effort, or none of resources. And those are things that you may not be able to address immediately. But at least those are strong discussion points for you to have with leaders across your organization.


So it started in that way. That would be probably one of the best ways to start, so that’s a great question, as well.


And she would like to know of these collaborations’ strategies, which are artwork best in a virtual or remote environment?


I think the giant undertows seems to work very, very well.


The sailboat. We put it on a virtual whiteboard. The storyboarding, we have we actually have a campus.


And there are so many free canvas tools that you can use or even Google Jammer, then you can actually draw these in there or upload images of it of them and actually use them during your virtual meetings. I would say that I’ve used Oliver in virtual settings.


I’ve used different techniques, and I’ve used different approaches for virtual, and so, but all of them have the capability to be used virtually.


I think that was one of the things that pushed us on our quest, is that we rub the face to face to virtual, and when we’re in a virtual setting, it’s difficult to create psychological safety, understand who they trust, We started noticing some really distinct patterns for, for example, we started noticing that the leader would ask a question, and everybody around the room would have a different perception of what that question was.


So even just using part of the strategies, you know, will help break that dynamic, but we’ve been able to use all the strategies in the virtual space.


There are some images that you can find in Google Image that you can upload straight into a whiteboard.


And so, yes, I think you can be able to use all virtual space.


And the final question for today, is from Kim and Kim would like to know, which of these strategies has the fastest results?


The sailboat, sailboat has the fastest. And it also, especially if you have multiple projects, you’ll be able to pick up things very, very quickly.


And then if I have a team that was stuck or continuously back, you’ve been in those meetings where there’s actually no dialog that happens.


So people will ask a question and there’s no, you know, nothing that happens in that space of silence. I wouldn’t use the Jain making of toast. That one has the fastest. It gets people out of a funk. She gets people into a different mindset, and it gives you a different perspective of how people are thinking.


So I would say those two are the top two leaders that actually get their very best results, and moves the team forward very quickly.


Great, and that concludes the Q and A for today.


Thank you, thank you so much, And, again, we just have been enjoyed our session. We look forward, any time we’d like to reach out. We can find me on LinkedIn and would love to continue the dialog and conversation. And Sarah, again, thank you for hosting this event, and thank you to HRDQ-U, and I just want to wish everyone a wonderful afternoon.


Yes. Thank you, Judith. And today’s webinar was sponsored by, Strategies by Design Group: Strategies by Design Group applies innovative techniques, and approaches to achieve, immediate engagement, and growth to enhance the connection between behavior design and human centric design. Again, you can learn more at That will conclude today’s session. Thank you again so much, Judith, for joining us, and thank you all for participating in today’s webinar.


Happy Training!

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