Two types of meetings to solve complex problems

When trying to solve complex problems many people fall into one of two traps:

  • Analysis-paralysis gets you stuck in trying to understand all the data and always finding new information and analyzing it. Nothing gets done because of the feeling that we need to know more about what is happening.
  • Shotgun-action ignores all the data and just keeps on trying new things without ever stopping to think or evaluating what is going on. The sense of stress that nothing seems to get better forces you to implement change after change which will just make everyone irritated and in the end give up.

The problem with these two traps is that we need them both, just not in too big doses. We need to analyze and find patterns so we can find something to focus on, and we need to implement some changes so we can see if we are on the right trap. My solution to this is to have two types of meetings connected to the Data-Focus-Change model. This makes sure that you separate  analysis and digging into the data from finding ideas and evaluating changes:

Find Focus-meetings

Sometimes the result is a question, not an answer

  • Goal: Find patterns in the data so you can find a focus
  • Methods: Visualize data & insights
  • Outputs:
    • Focus
    • Way to measure improvements

Find Change-meetings

Sometimes it is more important to evaluate what you have done than finding new actions.

  • Goal: Decide if your focus has improved enough or if you want to work on it more
  • Methods: Evaluation & Idea generation
  • Outputs:
    • Evaluation of your Focus
    • New change or a date for a new Find Focus-meeting.