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Facilitating conversations to reach concordance

Who and why mind@work?

"mind@work is not merely a set of techniques for improving organizations, enhancing communications, building consensus, or solving problems. It is based on the principle that conception and implementation are intimatelylinked, with a core of creating common meaning."

mind@work VOF facilitates group decision making. We also supply methods, applications (minds2gather), tools and techniques to improve change processes by improvingteam creativity, resolution or decision making and getting results.

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 Participants exchange their ideas on a number of topics at the same time (and place)  mind2gather can print the ideas on-line and real-time on Euro+Forms Participants cluster the items and ideas and describe the clusters in their own words  

 Decisions are made after a dialogue on the results and casting votes
 Brainstorming Printing Clustering Deciding

Welcome to our English home page

Thank you for your interest in our products/services.We are an organization dedicated to better decision making by groups or teams,something you may call Decision Groupware, Electronic Boardroom orGroup Resolution Methodware. The methods are aimed at better socialinteraction through, amongst others, computer supported brainstorming, clusteringor categorizing using cards or hexagons and various techniques for buildingconsensus. We've specialized in problem definition, because:

  1. - If you're not part of the problem, you're not part of the solution
  2. - The definition of the problem is part (about 80%) of the problem
  3. - People tend to bypass the process of problem definition, because it is connected to negative emotions, like frustrations, anger, sadness, loss, envy ; it requires people to become open about their feelings and - Argyris - the process of bypassing problem definitions is also undiscussable.
  4. - 'The wrong solution for the right problem is preferable over a right solution for the wrong problem'. In both cases the solution doesn't work, but only in the first case one will surely innovate in the right direction.
  5. - Companies fail not because of a mistake, but because they continue to make the same mistake over and over again.
  6. - As facilitators, we're not involved with the implementation of the solution (see 1).

Talking about problems requires a level of communications, that can only be attained in a same place, same time meeting. Openess can be enhanced by using computers for brainstorming, while communicating 'is' a social process and can be enhanced by using cards.

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We have developed a four step process

We have developed a four step process. Starting with an acceptance phase, we move to an information phase. The third step is clustering and evaluating. The fourth phase is action!.

The steps are:

  1. Accepting the situation andeach other: green
  2. Informing each other aboutthe different views on the situation or issue: yellow
  3. Ordening the ideas, have aconversation on the results and prioritizing clusters and ideas: blue
  4. Action planning on alternatives,options or solutions: red (and green,yellow, blue and red again).

The session has to designed. In the designof our interventions we take into account:

  • the responsible manager or leader
  • the preferences of the group
  • the nature of the environment
  • the desired result (S.M.A.R.T.)
  • The sessions and meetings move from problemdefinition to action planning in a consistent way. The facilitator designsthe processes and is not involved with the content. Most of the time thegroup works so fast, you cannot even become involved much. In the end wealmost always have a concrete, specific results, although sometimes not theresults you'd have expected beforehand.

    Computer and cards for better decision making.

    The advantages are:

     The advantages of usingcomputers

     The advantages of printing labels or cards

     The advantages of usingcards

     The advantages of usingthis method
      Everybody treated equally,less hierarchy
    All ideas visible: more creativity, greater speed
    Working at their own speed, no pressure
    More emotions shown, less politics
    Evaluation anonymously
    Focus on idea not on owner
    Every idea readable
    Proportional printing: smaller font with larger texts
    Use of different shapes and colours
    Multiple copies for parallel processing
    Usuable on table top, brown paper or electrostatic board
     Lots of items: betteroverview
    Actual exchange of ideas
    Colour activates integration
    Movement stimulates left and right brain hemisphere
    Joint, dynamic discussion, dialogue and conversations
    Intuitive understanding
    Fractal, chaotic, social, easy
     Consensus on problemswithout emotional or group pressure to conform
    Freedom of choice and participation precedes committed choice
    Creative, innovative and implementable solutions
    Fast reporting on session and action plan




    mind@work orchestrates meetings and change processes. Contact us for designing and executing a workshop. Depending on the circumstance, hiring us will mean an out of pocket costof between Euro 2000 to 5.000. The benefits will always be greater. We alsodeveloped the software minds2gather and mindprint.. Furthermore we train consultants, moderators and facilitors in using thesenew techniques. Contact us for dates and information on training. Using mind@work requires experience in facilitating group processes, anopen mind and a compassionate attitude. Because of the use of computers andthe logistics of the printing, it is recommended that the facilitators workin pairs.

    We are creating a network organization inThe Netherlands that will be able to deliver better roads to change throughminds2gather for for-profit and not-for profit organizations. Atthis moment in time we're concentrating on doing business in The Netherlands,but we're interested in expanding our network.

    More information: see the questions asked at the 8th European Facilitators Conference. For information and documentation in the English language, please contactus through  Contact mind@work VOF  or janlelie by telephone (+ 31 70 324.34.75). You can also skype us at mindatwork