Creating Consensus – Making Magic Happen Online

I am always delighted to watch how, when using the ToP methods, a wide variety of disparate ideas are shared, refined, categorized and agreed upon. The structure of the methods makes this process effective and seem almost magical. But can that magic happen online?

This week I had the pleasure of working with a large mental health services company to begin the process of revising their leadership development program. Using Adobe Connect, 13 company leaders met to discuss and agree upon the essential skills and abilities needed for a leader to be successful in the company’s context. Using the ToP methods approximately 40 distinct ideas were shared, discussed, and prioritized in small groups. Through an iterative process the ideas were clustered, clarified, and categorized into 6 groups. By the end of the 2 hour online meeting the leaders were able to agree that, for them, the categories of skills and abilities they developed represent the essential skills and abilities needed by leaders in their company.

Did the magic happen online? Yes! It did. Did we learn that we should do some things differently to make the methods more effective in the online environment? Absolutely.

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