At the end of a multi-day¬† workshop on ‘complexity and organization design for executive teams,’ a participant looked at my notebook, looked at me, looked back at my notebook, and asked,

“How am I supposed to make sense of all this?”

How to make sense of this Mike Cardus organization development

I responded, “Great question. Are you OK using the SOLVED coaching process we spoke about on day 2? Part of sense-making is removing me, the perceived expert, from your work and placing you, the expert, at the periphery of your work.” They said yes.

They randomly chose 6 SOLVED cards and 1 Oblique Strategies. Sharing in the hope that the questions and approach may help you make sense of your challenge.

SOLVED questions
  1. What are you doing when you accomplish what you want to have happen?
  2. You have solved this; who is the first person you share the results with? What do you tell them?
  3. On a scale of 0 – 10, how will you know you are at a 9?
  4. What have you already accomplished?
  5. Describe something that’s already successful.
  6. Knowing yourself as the expert, what direction is best to take?
Oblique strategy
  • Take a break

They smiled and leaned forward in their chair as we worked through the questions. Once they turned over the “Take a break” card, a smile appeared. They turned to me and said, “Interesting; it was like the idea was in my head, and I needed some noodling to see it.”

It’s great when that happens.