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January 13, 2005

News & Opinion: Eight Steps

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 7:42 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

A few weeks ago I was doing executive development work for a major pharmaceutical company. The head of international business started the session by laying out the serious challenges the company faced in the marketplace. Since my session was going to include nearly 50 of the companys top leaders from around the world, I decided to work on the most serious challenge, using a collaboration model that has been very successful in the past.
The steps are: vent; reverse negative assumptions; generate ideas; identify whats smart about each idea, watch for the recurring themes, and make sure all the themes are included when you blend the ideas into a solution; pinpoint the dangers; and develop an action plan.
Afterwards, they told me that they were amazed at the quality of the solutions they had developed. It is extremely rare for them to come together and apply their brainpower to address common challenges. Consequently they have little opportunity to spread their secrets for high performance within the company.
Success is contagious, but it cant be spread without contact.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.