Essays on Developing and Supporting Creative Problem Solving Teams by McFadzean Article

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The paper "Developing and Supporting Creative Problem Solving Teams by McFadzean " is a great example of a management article.   The important premise behind McFadzean (2002) article “ Developing and Supporting Creative Problem Solving Teams: Part 2 – Facilitator Competencies” is that facilitators must have several competencies and undergo training in order to perform their responsibilities effectively. Most companies utilize teams to resolve problems and enhance services, processes, and products. However, these companies can find solutions to their problems by hiring qualified and competent facilitators. This article examines the process of facilitation and provides the general and specific competencies that guarantee better facilitation.   The Facilitation Process McFadzean’ s article provides three phases of the facilitation, namely pre-session planning, running group sessions, and generating a post-session report.

The most significant phase is planning because it forms the basis of success. Pre-session planning entails dealing with clients, identifying and interpreting the issue, recognizing the conducts that may increase or reduce group relations, organizing the correct resources necessary for the meeting, and creating the meeting structure. Schwarz identifies the several roles of contracting. He stipulates that contracting allows groups and facilitators to commit to the conditions governing their working rapport.

Contracting presents facilitators and group members a prospect of observing each other’ s working. Furthermore, contracting allows facilitators to speak to the right staff members about previous issues and their solutions. The exchange of information by the group members and the facilitator creates mutual trust and empathy between them. Additionally, the contracting phase necessitates the facilitator to discuss and form the meeting structure and then process it with the client group. McFadzean says that it is important to form process analogy/congruence.

Failure to create congruence between group members renders the process ineffective. Therefore, it is vital for participants to discuss, create, and consent the process and the agenda of the meeting. Schwartz presents three types of behaviors presented by group members, namely counteractive, dysfunctional, and functional. Counteractive conducts improve group efficiency by decreasing dysfunctional conducts. Dysfunctional behaviors reduce group efficiency by improving the process losses of the group. Additionally, functional behavior preserves or improves the behavior of the group. The article argues that certain dynamics of the meeting enhance results (process benefits) whereas others deteriorate the outcomes (process losses) comparative to the attempts of similar people working personally.

Therefore, team productivity relies on the stability between group process benefits and losses. Process losses comprise of employee predicaments, coordination issues, free-riding, socializing, and information overload. At the same times, the facilitator can support the real meeting after the pre-session planning. The role of the facilitator entails ensuring that the processes and behaviors of the group remain efficient as required by assuming interventions. The intervention processes occur when a group member acts contradictorily with the basic rule agreed on by the group.   Critique McFadzean categorizes competencies required by facilitators in two groups; general and specific competencies.

The article resonates with the article by Stewart (2007) titled “ High Performing (and Threshold) Competencies for Group Facilitators” that facilitators must possess certain abilities in order to tackle issues arising within groups based on the levels. However, McFadzean (2002) suggests that interventions depend on group development level. For instance, intervention on group 1 is related to responsibility since the group is interested in understanding the lower work levels.

The group in level two focuses on the task and the structure of the meeting. Hence, the facilitator must intervene in the meeting structure and the task. The group in level three focuses on the meeting structure, the task, and the duties undertaken by every group member. In my opinion, McFadzean performs thorough research on the necessary competencies of facilitators compared to other studies. For instance, Stewart performs the general high performing competencies required by group facilitators only unlike McFadzean (2002) who goes into details. The two categories of competencies include general competencies and specific competencies.

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McFadzean, Elspeth, "Developing and Supporting Creative Problem-Solving Teams: Part 1– A Conceptual Model." Management Decision, Vol. 40, no.5 (2002): 463-475.

McFadzean, Elspeth and Terry Nelson. "Facilitating Problem-Solving Groups: A Conceptual Model." Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 19, no. 1 (1998): 6-13.

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