At the end of a 3-day training on Results-Based Management for 50 senior staff of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Tanzania, contracted and organised by the UONGOZI Institute, Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development, I was requested to insert an ad-hoc workshop on the reasons and possible solutions for the reasonably poor (60%) performance of the Health Sector.
After having explained a few rules of the game (writing on cards (one issue, max 3 lines, legibly), using Ki-Swahili, real existing clearly described problems (negative state), silence during brainstorming, anonymity of the issues raised, confidentiality of personal issues raised, 20-30 minutes duration), I distributed piles of yellow cards on their tables and markers for each participant and repeated the key question and urged several times for silence during the process.
After half an hour I collected the cards, mixed them and stuck them on the wall in a nicely positioned block of 10 cards high and 22 columns wide.
Then I asked for a volunteer, who read each card that I pointed at loud and clear using a microphone. the group was requested to indicate doubles that were removed.
After half an hour we were left with 128 different issues raised and identified 5 categories. All participants could stick their name card under one of the categories of their interest after which we negotiated to get 5 sub-groups of about equal size.
Two persons of each sub-group were requested to gather those problems that were related to their category and installed themselves at a separate table with a board where they could stick the problem cards.
Each sub-group was requested to brainstorm (in silence) possible solutions which after 20 minutes the sub-group discussed.
Each sub-group was requested to present the 5 most useful (innovative) suggestions to address a specific problem related to their category, which afterwards were scored importance with dots by each participant (3 dots each).
The session closed after 3 hours with a brief discussion on clarity and feasibility of the proposals.
Each sub-group identified a volunteer to document their problems identified in relation to their category and their proposals suggested including the scores from the participants.
All the work was done in Ki-Swahili, which was only slightly understood by me as facilitator, which actually is irrelevant as I dealt with the process and the participants with the content. Participants loved it!
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