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#6 Consider interrupting an activity to coach on using good process


Client Enquiry:

I have now tested/used Colourblind and it works well. It is good to have a discussion on communication and how the group organizes itself to find the missing two pieces.

One question: how long does it take on average to solve the problem?

I had one group of 10 people who solved it in 10 min, and another one with 13 people who could not solve it in 25 min. And what should one do to help the group if they do not come to the right conclusion?


RSVP Design Response

For a group activity like Colourblind which uses distributed cognition (each person has a part of the solution) an intact team of people who know each other well will generally work together better than a newly formed team, and so should solve the problem quicker. If you need to schedule a fixed time in your programme then I would always schedule at least 30 minutes and preferably 45 minutes to work with Colourblind. If the group needs help with the task - solving the Colourblind puzzle - then I would be reluctant to help them, as long as they were using a useful problem-solving process. However if I detected the group was struggling to find a good process I would coach them to build one and to use that process within the exercise - or even consider stopping it, and resuming it after a short review period.


Tip #6

If you are using a game or non-work-based experiential activity it is not important whether they solve the problem or not,  but it will be important to build skills and rehearse good practices within the experiential activity. So to intervene or not, and when?

Consider becoming more involved in an activity where the group is displaying poor process and coach them in improving their process - don just give them the answer to the task or they will learn little more than how to solve an irrelevant activity! Groups will typically become very focused on the task, so try and ensure your interventions are aimed at building repeatable and useful process skills like problem-solving, teamworking, communication etc

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