Model merging12 allows different scenarios, approaches, or activities to be developed, compared, and merged into the preferred solution.
- Divide into small groups (3 to 6 people per group)
- Provide sculpture kit to each group (various objects or pictures or Tinkertoys or Lego)
- Assign the discussion question (i.e. What is the desired future? What is the best way to deal with this issue? What would an effective team look like?)
- Use the sculpture kit to design a sculpture that represents the best answer
- 20 to 30 minutes to prepare sculpture to represent and display the elements your solution
- Group will present sculpture to large group in 3 to 5 minutes
- Facilitator records key words
After each presentation:
- Is this sculpture clear?
- Will it do the job?
- If not finished, what would be your next steps in finishing or refining the sculpture?
After all sculptures have been presented the Facilitator asks:
- What aspects of these sculptures stand out for you?
- Which ones interest you the most?
- Where do you see some common elements or connections?
- Where are the major differences?
- What are the implications of each of these sculptures?
- How would you characterize or title each one?
- As you look through them all together, what seems to be the essential elements of one overall sculpture or solution?
- Put essential elements on 6 x 8 cards and place on wall chart
- Keep working with elements until pieces and flow of desired result comes into focus
- Suggest that this desired result may need to stand for a few days so team can come back to examine, and 'polish' it
- Hold a conversation to determine how the group feels about the decision
- Check to see if there are any major gaps
- What steps in this process seemed to work particularly well for us?
- What aspects of the 'solution model' are you particularly pleased with?
- What happened to us as a group while we worked on this?
- How does the 'solution model' fit with our individual roles?
- What does the 'solution model' tell us about our work in the next year?
- What do we need to do next with the 'solution model'?
12 Based on: Williams, R. Bruce. More Than 50 Ways to Build Team Consensus. Palatine, Illinois: IRI/Skylight Training and Publishing, Inc., 1993.
13 Adapted from Facilitated Planning Manual. Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA). Toronto, Ontario