The problems that groups face are varied, but some common problems include budgeting funds, raising funds, planning events, addressing customer or citizen complaints, creating or adapting products or services to fit needs, supporting members, and raising awareness about issues or causes.
Problems of all sorts have three common components: Discussion of these three elements of a problem helps the group tailor its problem-solving process, as each problem will vary.
At this stage, group members share what they know about the current situation, without proposing solutions or evaluating the information. What, if any, elements of the difficulty require clarification?
Here are some good questions to ask during this stage: What is the current difficulty? At the end of this stage, the group should be able to compose a single sentence that summarizes the problem called a .
For the problem question previously posed, the group would need to generate solutions for all three parts of the problem included in the question.
Possible solutions for the first part of the problem (How can citizens report ethical violations?
Since many problems are multifaceted, it is necessary for group members to generate solutions for each part of the problem separately, making sure to have multiple solutions for each part.
Stopping the solution-generating process prematurely can lead to groupthink.
Whereas the first step involved exploring the “what” related to the problem, this step focuses on the “why.” At this stage, group members can discuss the potential causes of the difficulty.
Group members may also want to begin setting out an agenda or timeline for the group’s problem-solving process, looking forward to the other steps.