In principle, collaborative decisions are creations. Creativity comes from putting together two or more things, events, or ideas. Germination leads to new things. When water mingles with seeds, fertile soil facilitates and supports the interaction. Fertility helps creativity.
Practical Tip: Make your decision-making environment fertile. By design of meetings and communications, facilitate the interaction of multiple ideas. Develop a culture of support and nurturing for new ideas. This might be done via ground rules or operating norms. Be consistent in their application. Uphold and stand by your ground rules, your process values, in all situations. Deliberately attend to and nurture the environment in which you are trying to grow.
In principle, art is that which provokes thought or emotion. It inspires, puzzles, causes one to think and feel in new ways. It is often an end in itself without a higher goal in mind. The artist is open to whatever may result.
All worthy creations, including good group decisions, are a combination of art and technique. Group decisions made in the absence of provocative thought or emotion may be mediocre or un-compelling.
Practical tip: Bring creative processes and artful influences into your group decision making. Enhance the technical decision making steps with artistic interventions. Weave music, stories, and pictures into your work. Allow time and space for laughter, tears, aha’s.
Art often knocks us off balance and to new places of understanding and inspiration; just what’s needed for good group decisions.
On site at a public input meeting, Craig describes four ways for people to give their opinions.
This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.
Here’s what Craig says in the video.
Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here.
I am at a meeting – the whole purpose is to gather public input. Tonight we’re in Brunswick, Maine asking people what they think the future of the town should be.
Now, when you ask people to provide information it’s really good if you can ask them to give it in several different ways because you know not everybody is comfortable raising a hand and speaking out loud in public. Sometimes we do that – take a look over here. We did that in this meeting earlier tonight and we showed right on the screen what people said. As they raised their hands and spoke out, we typed their comments.
But that’s not the only way. Also earlier tonight, we asked people to write their comments on these pieces of paper and we put them on the wall. We didn’t know how they were going to be organized. We organized them after we saw all the pieces of paper on the wall.
A third way that we’re asking people to make their comments tonight is by writing on pieces of paper at their tables. Look we’ve got a question right down on the chart and we’re asking people to discuss and write their answers.
That’s not all – come over here. We asked people to draw their ideas on maps. “Where do you want growth to occur in our town? Where do you want no growth?”
Look, the point is that whenever you’re asking for public input ask it in a way that gives many different types of opportunities to give their input. That’s how you help your group make good decisions.