ABSTRACT

In traditional meetings, the chairperson often has a dual role. He or she not only makes sure the groups follows the agenda but also shares ideas on the topic under discussion. Managing process and content in parallel can be difficult, in particular, when the topic is complex and team members have different or conflicting opinions. A number of strategies and simple interventions are available to assist a team in making decisions. Debiasing strategies encourage team members to ‘think harder’, provide training or tools or to improve logical argumentation, or ‘nudge’ people towards wise choices. Several simple interventions are widely known and applied in teams across the world: brainstorming, clustering, and voting. While these can certainly improve decision making compared to freely interacting (non-supported) groups, they have one significant shortcoming. None of these methods reveals the relations between problem elements. Helping a team to visualise relations, or in other words, jointly building a model of the decision situation, makes information and interests explicit and conflicts easier to address. Four model-driven interventions are described in subsequent chapters: group model building, group causal mapping, decision conferencing, and participatory scenario development.