YES – the owner is your key person. The owner knows more about the problem than anybody else. If you don’t have an owner don’t do the session. It all revolves around the owner – all we’re trying to do is help. This person(s) knows everything and a good owner is one who is going to be very forthcoming – he/she will not only answer questions, they often give even more information that nobody asked for, so the owner is critical. The only thing the owner can’t do – lead the session. An owner cannot lead the session – these two roles must be separate.
Whenever a good group suddenly lapses into “going round in circles” or adversarial discussions (however unintended or disguised ), a simple process intervention called “debriefing” always works. In debriefing, a group pauses to self-correct the discussion by getting out of content and examining its process to intercept further slippage.
Most of us live in the world of “how”. We dwell on solutions to problems, we argue about which of two or three ways to proceed or positions to support. We are bombarded with “sound bites” which polarize us into selecting one of two opposing opinions and deepening our belief in one or the other. We get frustrated and see ourselves worlds apart. However, we may be a lot closer than we think. We just haven’t paid enough attention to why we are trying to do it instead of how we are going to do it.
It all goes back to the definition of creativity – we are very firm on not having any definition of creativity. If you ask fifteen different people what animal do they think best illustrates creativity, you’re going to get 15 different answers. Playing this up further, someone likes peacocks because it has got a lot of color – someone else likes raccoons because they can solve problems. There are some people that say, well, there are people who can get things done quickly. We stay away from that. What we do is we try to educate people, that the creative process is everything and if you’re not going through the creative process, people have different skills in all of them.