Consultant/Facilitation Practice

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Acting as a consultant to a classmate, I helped her devise a solution to small problem in her life through facilitation of a team of 4 peers through the Simplex creative problem solving process.

I had a pre-consulting session with my client and then prepared over the next 3 days for the event. At the group session I had 2 hours to complete 6 or 7 of the 8 steps in the process, which would provide the client with a new strategy for tackling her problem. I think both the individual and group sessions went very well and the solution provided to her problem was very fitting. 😉

Our challenge statement for the client arrived at “How might we help her enjoy shopping?” We determined that she did not enjoy shopping for a variety of reasons, but largely due to allergies. The lack of enjoyment resulted in her having a wardrobe unapproved by her boyfriend and family members. « Read the rest of this entry »

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(Collaborative Action) Reflection

September 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

As part of our second-year education in the MFA program here we serve as facilitators for the first-year students in their Collaborative Action Studio. These students are just now leaving the board in their head first dive into design thinking, design research, human-centered design and many other wonderful topics.

It’s given me and others in my class a chance to reflect on the first few weeks of our time here. I remember ending the first week with a bout of confusion but excitement as to where this was heading. I think my brain hurt from all that I had taken in and I was fatigued by all the work that I knew was ahead. Fun times, really.

In recent studio collaborative sessions the students have made their first trip through the Simplex process in order to solve a small, personal problem. To place myself in their shoes I dug up a written reflection from my first and second attempts at the process. Below are some notes from that reflection:

  • divergence became easier on the second attempt
  • challenge mapping and creating challenge statements became easier and more focused on the second try

What to take out of this? A) We will get better with creative problem solving processes as we get more experience with them. B) Have patience with those who are new to the process. It seems to be a simple, straightforward process, but it does consist of skills that must be learned and constantly refined. Even those leading facilitating the process can continue to improve their skills.

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