Don't Be a Victim of Vague Managerial Problems

Jun 23, 2015 4:46:59 PM

Recently during facilitation, it struck me how unable the group was to focus and commonly agree what the problem was they are facing. It was common knowledge that they did not have much time to interact with one another and that they had few facts available to them individually. The vague ‘managerial problem’ would, without good interaction never receive the appropriate focus it deserves, because of unintended "silositus."

silositus (ˈsīlō/sīdəs): the chronic problem of being isolated (one system, process, department, etc.) from others.

Our well-intended world of functional specialization has enormous benefit, however it often causes us (1) not to interact as often as we should, and (2) aggravates the problem of lack of common focus. This often ends in turf protection and other problems due to the lack of common understanding and focus.


It is amazing to watch the change in the faces when thinking from all sides becomes visible in respect of the vague issue in hand. The number of “aha” moments are truly astonishing, but the question is why?

We live in a busy electronically biased world with lots of time pressure on managers.  It is just easier and more productive to fire off a few emails or action a few things on a system workflow, than to try and convince a few “busy” colleagues to give up 2 hours to discuss a common vague issue.  

KEPNERandFOURIETM ThinkingWise fills this gap. It does not solve the problem of convincing people to come to the meeting, but it will however make that meeting a lot faster and more time efficient if properly facilitated.

‘ThinkingWise’ is a powerful tool to create order in a discussion that would ordinarily be drifting in every direction, depending on who’s speaking turn it is.  ThinkingWise provides a starting point and then diverges to incorporate all the present diverse opinions.  In this process all the diverged information is made visible for all to evaluate. The mere fact that the opinions and facts are made visible, starts to focus attention by all.  When the ThinkingWise process start to converge the information, it is quite amazing to notice how quickly this convergence takes place.

The biggest benefits therefore are (a) visible information moves the group closed together and reduces disagreement and (b) the process itself is time efficient in that convergence takes place quickly.

Learn more about Industrial Problem Solving...

Adriaan du Plessis

Written by Adriaan du Plessis

Johannesburg, South Africa | Managing Director of the Global IT CSI Practice
Adriaan provides consulting, facilitation and implementation services for root cause analysis, decision making and business improvement as well as people development using proven KEPNERandFOURIE™ tools and techniques. As a world-class facilitator he focuses on the use of a divergent set of improvement and thinking tools to assist businesses to enhance value, specifically in Root Cause Analysis, IT Root Cause Analysis and Decision Making.


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