Effective Group Problem Solving

How to Broaden Particpation, Improve Decision Making, and Increase Commitment to Action

William M. Fox, University of Florida

Published 2007

This book provides a set of easy to use and proven techniques and procedures for conducting problem solving meetings more efficiently and productively, with less frustration, effort, and conflict. William M. Fox presents an approach to group problem solving—the Improved Nominal Group Technique (INGT)—that will help minimize or eliminate the common problems, such as personality clashes or wasted time, that are often found in groups. And he demonstrates how this approach will enhance employee involvement, increase productivity, and encourage innovation.

Throughout, Fox provides numerous practical suggestions for handling all phases of group problem solving—including how to conduct a meeting, how to keep discussions on track, and how to handle voting. He also describes in detail how to effectively implement the rules and procedures of INGT to achieve such objectives as identifying problems, solving a problem when no standard solution is available, and refining written proposals or other documents. And he discusses how his method encourages full participation by group members and saves valuable meeting time by making use of premeeting preparation. Fox shows how INGT can help improve the competence of group leaders and make it possible for new leaders or new groups to get to work as quickly as possible. And he explains how this approach can be implemented in a broad range of programs and special groups—including quality circles, job redesign teams, program planning groups, confrontation meetings, and conflict resolution teams.