What It’s Like to Be Facilitated By a Bunch of Creative Problem Solvers

What It’s Like to Be Facilitated By a Bunch of Creative Problem Solvers


I’M PLAYING A GAME – The World Robot Olympiad Version of the Community Lemonade Game.  I’ve created myself a challenge to build community around the Southern California Qualifier of the World Robot Olympiad, that will be held by the Robotics Society of Southern California (RSSC). So the Gauntlet… the challenge… is to successfully execute the competition on August 11th, 2018. In my quest for community around the World Robot Olympiad, I have a number of goals: space, equipment, coaches, skills, materials, players.

Will you make Lemonade with me?

I’m still at the University of Buffalo‘s Creative Problem Solving Institute.  This year, I’m learning how to facilitate others.  But we’re role playing, and I’m the Client.

All around me there are signs… “Ideators gotta ideate, unless they’re facilitating – then they should shut up.”  The conference is full of ideators.  It’s one of the four types of creative thinkers in the Four Sight model.  Four Sight types creative thinkers into four categories.  From the Four Sight website I found these nuggets to share.  “Clarifiers do their homework.  Ideators think big.  Developers get things right.  Implementers get the job done.”  I wonder why the conference is full of ideators.  Does the training and practice itself change your Four Sight assessment?  Perhaps the reason is that ideators are more attracted to Creative Problem Solving.  Ideator is a much more favorable term than Squiggle (something I got from a personality test many years ago.)  I have another thought about Four Sight that I will share with you tomorrow.  IdeatorMom.  Let me consider that.

Today I worked on identifying and prioritizing the opportunities that the World Robot Olympiad presents to me and to the communities I serve. In particular, the Open Competition of the world Robot Olympiad.

I was facilitated by several classmates in my Facilitating CPS class at the University of Buffalo, New York. I am learning skills that I can share with students and coaches with whom I might engage as I work on the Southern California Qualifier of the World Robot Olympiad.

We talked about the challenges of finding teams in China, Mexico and Trinidad to participate. The challenges of community, resources and knowledge. The Open competition vs the Robotics competition. I was the Client, the team took turns facilitating. It was very good. I knew in my heart what I wanted to do, I had trouble admitting it and letting it rise to the top of the priority list. For the team, I was a real Client with a real Problem and yes, part of the Team, understanding of the CPS method. What more could the Team want of a Client?

We used the CPS method to identify my Challenge Question. It is that question that is most important to answer. The problem that most needs to be solved.

We found my priorities, identified some things for me to do in the next 24 hours, a week and beyond that to the August 11th 2018 date. Some of these tasks revolve around community – finding coaches and spaces and volunteers and participants. Some of these tasks revolve around funding… around creating an incentive package for coaches, who we will need to prioritize kids over themselves during the next few weeks. Very important is the beginning of development of a curriculum that I can share with coaches. It will be developed in iterations. This will help us to see what is working in small increments. It will provide a path to finding the solution, one that will include those with some familiarity with problem solving and, in particular, Creative Problem Solving.

I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU – New Friend, Jacob Flores, has just agreed to open his space near Long Beach’s Retro Row on groovy 4th Street. It’s a coaching space, and he may be able to get a friend to coach also. Now we need to hook them up with some team members, or perhaps someone on Retro Row can help him bring in some students. One thing I like to do is find ways to compensate those who carry key roles in the many opportunities I create. It helps me – just a little – to not wear out my welcome. We discussed that during the facilitation session, and thought that perhaps if we wrote a campaign to local businesses to create a ‘thank you’ for coaches who were working hyper-locally, we might be able to present a coach with a few gift cards and certificates for their hard work if funds were not forthcoming. I imagine that the folks who might help might be un or under-employed students, Millenials and some retired folks who might need a little appreciation.

I also want to share with you that yesterday I asked the question “What on Earth Do You Do with Creativity Training?” I think I am finally finding my answer!  You seek new Friends to facilitate you!

Above is a photo of  New and Improved‘s Alligator, and my Newer and very cute handmade Alligator that I today made from pipe cleaners. After I have tweeted a photo of my handmade ‘gator, I will have six Tweets to my Squigglemom name. Find me on Twitter: @squigglemom

Trish Tsoiasue is a community builder based in Long Beach, California . She builds socially responsible, grassroots communities, has many hobbies and interests, and lots and lots of ideas. She is trained in LEGO(r) Serious Play and the Creative Problem Solving Institute‘s methods of intentional creativity. The communities she has created and in which she takes most pride are the Long Beach LEGO User Group,  Makersville and ScoutMaker (a prototype community started at Title I, Lincoln Elementary School through a grant from Honda Research and Development arranged by the Long Beach BSA ).

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