When a team or individual within the team is stuck, it’s useful to have a process up your sleeve that enlists everyone in doing something about it – rather than moaning or accepting things as they are.

The key is to get things moving, even a tiny amount in order to create momentum for more fundamental progress.

This super-simple approach gets the whole team involved, promotes action and often provides the spark for much bigger, more creative ideas.

Here are the steps:

  1. Clarify the issue or challenge to be worked on. In particular focus on what is preventing the team or individual from moving forward.
  2. Give the team a few minutes to ask questions for clarity – not to suggest solutions.
  3. Allow 5 minutes or so for everyone to write down a list of tiny steps, that require no additional budget or permission to implement, but will get the situation unstuck and move things forward, even by a small amount.
  4. Spilt the team into groups of 3 or 4 to share their tiny ideas – 3 minutes per person and develop a one best idea – this might be the best single suggestion, a composite of 2 or more or a brand-new thought that emerged from the discussion.
  5. Ideas are shared amongst the full team, with the challenge owner or team leader selecting the approach that appeals most.

We can often talk ourselves out of taking action because the problem looks too big or we don’t believe we have sufficient discretion and freedom to do anything.

This process, which focuses entirely on the tiny things we know we can do, is empowering, creative and harnesses the social energy of idea generation to often set far bigger innovations in motion.