EFFECTIVE GROUP PROBLEM SOLVING: How to broaden Participation, Improve Decision Making, and Increase Commitment to Action by Dr. William M. Fox
First hardcover edition, March 1987, 204 pages.
Offered by America First Books as an ebook
Original Hard Cover Edition Summary:
This book provides a set of easy-to-use and proven techniques and procedures for conducting problem-solving meetings more efficiently and productively, with less frustration, effort, and conflict. Dr. William M. Fox presents an approach to group problem solving - the Improved Nominal Group Technique (INGT) - that will help minimize or eliminate the common problems, such as personality clashes or wasted time, that are often found in groups. And he demonstrates how this approach will enhance employee involvement, increase productivity, and encourage innovation.
Throughout, Dr. Fox provides numerous practical suggestions for handling all phases of group problem solving - including how to conduct a meeting, how to keep discussions on track, and how to handle voting. He also describes in detail how to effectively implement the rules and procedures of INGT to achieve such objectives as identifying problems, solving a problem when no standard solution is available, and refining written proposals or other documents. And he discusses how his method encourages full participation by group members and saves valuable meeting time by making use of premeeting preparation.
Dr. Fox shows how INGT can help improve the competence of group leaders and make it possible for new leaders or new groups to get to work as quickly as possible. And he explains how this approach can be implemented in a broad range of programs and special groups - including quality circles, job redesign teams, program planning groups, confrontational meetings, and conflict resolution teams.
Summary by America First Books Editor: Obtaining the best ideas and developing the most effective plans for an organization is often much harder than it appears. Quite often the people with the best ideas are afraid to speak up, for fear that they will "make waves" or might say something that will embarrass themselves. In other cases, people with the strongest need to dominate frequently control discussions, regardless of the quality of the results. Lastly, groups will often focus on preconceived notions and set procedures. They may short-circuit individualized and group brainstorming sessions and other processes required for optimal results. To avoid all of these kinds of problems, it pays to be conscious of proven procedures.
Researchers have studied effective procedures in a wide variety of organizations, ranging from small businesses to large corporations, and from military units to private sector charities. Dr. William M. Fox has spent decades collating these studies as well as performing his own research. The methods he has uncovered have received major testimonials by important organizations.
However, there is a potential drawback. Many of these procedures are, if anything, too effective at identifying real problems and real solutions. Many managers feel threatened by honest feedback and innovative new ideas, when it may be much easier in the short run to play to appearances rather than address substance.
The techniques described in Effec ive Group Problem Solving can be applied to small, informal groups in addition to large organizations. It can improve the efficiency of nonprofit organizations pursuing intangible goals as well improve the profitability of businesses. It can help political parties better adapt to emerging constuencies as well help educational and cultural organizations obtain better feedback regarding their community services. Imagine how America's industrial competitiveness problems might be reversed or government waste might be significantly curtailed if such techniques could be widely implemented and their results properly executed.
Permissions: Printing Allowed
eBook format: Adobe PDF
eBook features: Sight-checked against original hardcover copy. Contains navigational hyperlinks and all original content, such as illustrations, footnotes, and index.
Please Peruse the Sample Contents:
James Showkeir, Supervisor of Training and Development at TRW: "Very interesting, useful, and practical. . .It can serve as a handbook for the novice or a reference book for the experienced problem solver."
Eric Trist, founder of the sociotechnical systems approach to organizational design: "This is a book of basic theoretical importance as well as a manual for practitioners. . .A new and distinctive contribution."
William Werther, Samuel Friedland Professor of Executive Management, University of Miami: "This short, highly readable book should find its way into the hands of managers truly willing to tap the wellspring of employee creativity and motivation . . .its prescriptions and recommendations, if followed, could do much to improve organizational productivity."
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