The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
— Linus Pauling
With your committed team assembled, it’s likely everyone is bubbling with ideas about how to solve the problem. When tackling a big problem, it serves your effort to have the richest possible set of ideas to explore and consider. Include a diverse set of contributors who will approach the problem from as many angles as possible. Step 3 in Enneagram change management is ideation. Making your ideation session fun — perhaps fueling it with caffeinated drinks and sweet pastries — you can generate a lot of ideas in a short time. I encourage participants to withhold any judgement and negativity, and use improv techniques like “Yes, and…” to generate as many ideas as possible. If your problem is the elephant in the room, one idea is to eat the elephant. How do you do that? One bite at a time! Keep all ideas—big, small, funny, serious, practical and incredible—there will be time for sorting through them all later.
Excerpt from Teamwork 9.0
Now that you have described your problem in detail, envisioned your goal, and assembled your committed team, you are ready to explore ideas for solving the problem.
By the time you arrive at this point in the process, your team members will likely already have begun chiming in with ideas about how to solve the problem; that is one natural indication that you have arrived at Step 3, the Ideation phase of problem solving. In this step you capture briefly as many ideas as possible in what I call the Ideathon, described below. No idea is “bad” or “impossible.” An idea is just an idea. In practice, I find that the more generous you are in allowing and capturing ideas, the more it inspires your team to generate even more ideas. So be a generous listener and capture them all.
Everyone has ideas, so what makes the Enneagram Type 3 dynamic particularly suited for this step? Remember, the 3 is the core type of the Heart-Feeling-Emotion center, and so suppresses emotion. For those of us who do not suppress emotion, our emotions act as filters on our thoughts. We judge emotionally whether an idea is “good” or “bad.” Our emotional connection with others might inhibit the expression of an idea for fear of how they may respond.
Imagine if you had no emotional baggage associated with any particular idea. Imagine if your ideas weren’t influenced by what others think or how they might respond. Imagine a space where you could express any idea that came to mind, without inhibitions. This is exactly what’s required at this point in problem solving, and that is the space of the Type 3 dynamic.
When generating ideas to solve a problem, what techniques do you use? How do ensure a rich, diverse set of ideas from which to consider and choose? Do you include all stakeholders when generating ideas?
Your team will have many ideas for how to solve the problem. Step 3 is when you capture all the ideas. Enneagram Type 3 is called the achiever. They’re constantly looking for ideas that will lead to success. Each team member may have a different idea of what success looks like. You’ll want to understand each member’s perspective. It’s important in this step, not to react negatively to any idea. You want to create a positive environment and encourage everyone to contribute and capture all ideas.
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