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Current Method Better Way Innovation

innovation through multiple perspective Mike Cardus
Face to Face or Virtual Team Innovation Problem Solving

As you continue to build your team and navigate through complexity and challenges in: 

  1. gathering each team member’s feedback,
  2. avoiding group-think, or the loudest person in the room biasing the decision, 
  3. using time as a process to support the emergence of a novel or innovative solution, 
  4. ensure that buy-in and support of the decision happens. 

It helps to have a process or framework to focus the team’s work, and see multiple perspectives all in one place. 


Current Method Better Way with a virtual team to enhance operator training & learning
Current Method Better Way with a virtual team to enhance operator training & learning

Current Method Better Way – Innovation From Multiple Perspectives Frame 

Above is a process called – Current Method Better Way. The steps are relatively straightforward: 

  1. Process or Challenge – Identify what you are going to explore as a team using this tool. The clearer you are with exactly what you want to improve and develop, the better your results will be.
  2. Respond to the questions in the boxes – The team works through the matrix starting with the left column – What – discussing the Current Method, then Reason, ending with Better Way?. Moving through the Where, When, Who, How columns. 

Current Method Better Way – Uses

You can use this many ways; below are two of the general approaches I use with this innovation process

With the team in real-time
  1. Get the team together. 
  2. Write the Current Method Better Way Matrix on the whiteboard, or have is set for a virtual team meeting. 
  3. Have a bunch of sticky notes, begin with the left column – What? – and ask each person or the team to place their responses in the box.
Asynchronous – Each person completes on their own before the team meeting

You are best to use this technique if the team has low trust, or if there are broad gaps in seniority or tenure of staff. I was working with a large bank, to decrease the turnover of staff under 35. We started using this technique before problem-solving & decision-making meetings, and the ideas greatly improved as well as the employee-experience of the staff under 35. 

  1. Send the template to the team members before the team meeting, asking them to complete the Current Method Better Way with their thoughts. 
  2. You can ask them to send you their responses, and you can transcribe them into a shared document (with virtual teams this works well); or ask them to bring their completed responses to the team meeting. 
  3. You lead the team through the process of – begin with the left column – What? – and ask each person or the team to place their responses in the box.
  4. Ask people to leave their responses behind. 

Current Method Better Way with a Finance Director to Improve Payroll Processing
Current Method Better Way with a Finance Director to Improve Payroll Processing

Current Method Better Way supports team progress by showing multiple perspectives on a process or challenge. Additionally, it can help a team develop ideas that are more resilient so that when they move to – How will we do this work? – all the team members have a robust understanding of each option. 

Ever wonder how other teams make collaboration look so easy?

If so, you’ve recognized a challenge with your own team. And that’s the first step in finding a solution. Now, it’s time to do something about it.