Paradigms – Challenge and Be Creative – “Circle Variation”

“Circle Variation” helps people recognize that they have paradigms that constrain their ability to solve problems.  Note: This PET has been adapted from Interactive Strategies for Improving Performance, by Sivasailam Thiagarajan, Tracy Tagliati, Matthew Richter, and Raja Thiagarajan.  It is from a “Jolt” called, Don’t Lift the Pen.
  • To recognize that paradigms exist. 
Do the following:
  • Draw the following picture on flip chart paper:paradigms-one
    • Challenge the people to draw a similar picture on a piece of paper, but they must do it without lifting their pen and without retracing any lines.
    • Give them 2 minutes to solve the problem.  Watch what they do as they struggle to solve the problem.  If some people do solve it, acknowledge their solution, but don’t share it with the others.
  • After 2 minutes, call time, share the solution, and debrief the people.  The solution:paradigms-two
Debriefing Questions:
  • “What challenges did you encounter?”
  • “What paradigms did you encounter?”
  • “How might this help with the issue at hand?”

Author: Gary Rush

Gary Rush, IAF CPF is Founder & CEO of MGR Consulting since 1985 becoming a leading facilitator and facilitator trainer creating his own facilitation technique - FAST revolutionizing it with FoCuSeD™ - a unique approach to structured facilitation transforming the facilitation industry. He has trained thousands of people from more than 18 countries, and has delivered his structured facilitation class in 8 countries within North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. His students have gone on to become CEOs and CIOs, crediting their success to the people and process skills gained in his facilitator training classes. He has written numerous “how to” books covering facilitation, collaborative leadership, strategic planning, data modeling, etc. During a hiatus from consulting, Gary owned and was "Chef" of a highly acclaimed restaurant in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico – MG Rush dba Mirácles Restaurant. Gary has facilitated significant workshops including the first strategic plan for the combined EDS/GM organization. He facilitated Star Alliance where they identified that in-flight Wi-Fi was possible – a critical service offering on airlines today. He facilitated and trained Texas Joint Military Forces in Strategic Planning, creating their 2035 Strategic Plan. Reviewing this 4-page plan, the length of the U.S. Constitution, is now part of their monthly meetings – something they were unable to do previously. He is an IAF CPF Assessor and former IAF Chair. Gary also formed and led the IAF Chicago Chapter, the second IAF chapter to be established in the U.S. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. He holds a BS from Excelsior College.

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