Synergy Mindstorming

Frederick Dodson

Frederick Dodson

Tired of attending Business “meetings” with no particular outcome? I have synergy mindstorming with companies and groups to turn unproductive gatherings into laser-focused sessions of real-life positive consequence.

A meeting should be held in the context of a goal. That’s the very least the team leader can do. “The goal of this meeting is X”. Saying “We are going to talk about X”, isn’t enough. Because then, you might talk about X, perhaps even argue about it, but to what result? What are the actionable steps to be taken? What was learned? Pre-defining the final result sets the tone and from that point forward, all efforts move in a common direction.

“But what if I want to meet with people just for fun, without any goal?” – Well, then say so. That’s also a context. But we’re talking about Business meetings here and we all know people who waste their life away in time consuming meetings that don’t go anywhere. It has left them frustrated and with a feeling that “something is missing”.

Any group can be leveraged for mindstorming. I say “mindstorm” instead of “brainstorm”, because I don’t believe that thoughts are located “in the brain”, just like a radio announcer is not located inside the radio. Synergy is when the interaction of several people produce a combined effect greater than the sum of the effect they would have, if they acted separately. For example, Person A has an output of 5X, Person B as an output of 5X. But when they interact and cooperate, the dynamic between them does not produce an output of 10X, but  15X. That’s synergy.

So here is the method of Synergy Mindstorming I have used with groups:

  1. A question is written down. The question supports the achievement of the group goal. The question is phrased in a way that allows for positive answers (such as “How can we achieve…” and not “How can we avoid…”).
  2. Everybody spontaneously call out answers, without reservation or shyness, but without interrupting each other. None of the answers are judged, discussed, mocked, all is acknowledged. Aim to reduce either positive or negative reaction.
  3. After this, the group leader reads out all the answers. Those in agreement, show thumbs up. The answers that receive all thumbs up, are the most universal. They are singled out (if the topic is sensitive, anonymous ballots can be used. But open votes are preferable because synergy thrives in transparency).
  4. The group leader can now define action steps and assign tasks based on these answers. If the answers do not imply actions but rather, insights, these can now be shared with a wider audience in the company. To receive actionable steps, the guiding question is phrased like this: “What can we do to XYZ?“. If knowledge is the goal, the question could be phrased like this: “What could be the solution for XYZ?” To learn an effective method of group-goal-achievement see my Webinar Recording “Reality Creation for Executives”.

An important part of the process is the non-judgmental attitude while answers are given. Neutral, unbiased observation without praise or criticism, without ridicule or an attempt to downplay or uplay certain answers, allows for clear perception and opens a space for new and fantastic ideas. Judgmental people cripple their ability to expand their thinking. People perceive the most and also learn the most quickly in the absence of a judging, frantic, correcting, justifying, “wanting to be right” mind. 

A recent negative example I am aware of: A company had a manager and a chairwoman in conflict. They refused in-house mediation or in-house counseling. Instead, they got laywers. The situation was chaotic, with employees taking sides with either the manager or chairperson, throwing accusations back and forth and finally making no statements at all without lawyers involved. Productiveness came to a standstill and many pointless meetings were called in by board members, committees, sub-committees. None of the meetings had both parties present. None of the meetings were held with a specific final result in mind. Time and money was wasted and is, to this day, still being wasted by the parties going to court against each other. All that is the opposite of Synergy.

A mindstorming session could have been held at one of these meetings. “How can this conflict be solved in an amicable win-win?”. But the mindstorming never took place because the parties did not want an amicable win-win, they wanted to destroy each other because they didn’t like each other. Had the session taken place, employees would have had to suspend their “taking sides” for a moment to provide answers without fixed position or judgment. Goodwill creates synergy. And what if there was so much bad will among the people that this wasn’t possible? Then they should have called me in. Sometimes the presence of one good-willed, truly neutral person can relax people and open them up to more productive games. Hating each other is not a productive game to play and has no winners.

Fortunately, all groups I have done this process with, have had positive intentions and powerful results.

If the group is talking over each other, then have each person give an answer in turn. Depending on how many are, you have each person give one answer or do several rounds for multiple answers from each.

If there is an answer that causes everyone’s eyes to brighten or to chuckle, you may have found a good and surprising answer from a higher consciousness level. Most answers are given from the mind, but the real aim of mindstorming is to access the synergistic field that transcends the group. I do not share this detail with the group, because it sets up an expectation that obstructs the non-judging space. The best answers are those given spontaneously, without much thought or self-censoring and without coming from a fixed, pre-set viewpoint. All these fixed viewpoints and assumptions people have are really an obstruction to receiving higher knowledge. With repetition and practice, synergistic mindstorming becomes more smooth and effective.

And here’s an advanced variation of mindstorming, which I only use in special cases:

Each person takes on another role and answers the guiding question, from the viewpoint of the role. You could take on the role of an expert, a higher-self, your older and wiser self, a self 10 000 years older, a cosmic self, a famous person, an extraterrestrial, an angel, etc. The role you occupy or play, determines the quality of answer. You write your role on a card and put it in front of you or tape it to your shirt, or if you want to be funny, you tape it to your forehead. This way, each group member knows which role the answer is coming from.

Good guiding questions create good answers. Here’s one question phrased in several different ways, from low-quality to high quality, using the example of a used-car seller.

“Why are we selling so few cars in the last few months?”

“How can we sell more cars?”

“How can we sell three times as many cars each week?”

“How can we sell three times as many cars each week and enjoy the process?”

“Who would we have to be, to sell three times as many cars each week and enjoy the process?”

The quality of the question, determines the answer. Many problems are created and solved at the very beginning, while a person is phrasing the question!

Synergy Mindstorming can also be used to receive answers to questions of general interest not directly pertaining to the group. I have also seen sessions used to intuitively derive information about world events. One group, for example, asked “What is the real cause of Covid-19?” In the first few rounds, answers were derived from the mind. The mind is programmed with whatever it hears on the news or reads on the Internet. A lot of people have fights over “what is true”, without realizing that both sides were programmed by different types of news-media. But once the group opened up more and allowed for spontaneous answers, surprises came up, that nobody had ever heard of or read. These answers created a visible “wow” effect –  goosebumps, epiphany’s, amazement. I am not saying that every session must necessarily have a beyond-mind-quality to it. Sometimes answers from the mind are sufficient to address an issue. But with some love and patience, more is always possible.

This article contains all the information you need to conduct your own synergy sessions within your group.

 

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