Summary of Steps to Basic Win-Win Finder

Format for Groups, Organizations, Firms, Communities, Society, and Policy Makers

by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
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  1. Treat as if long-lasting problem were a self-defending situation in equilibrium, reflexively moving to counter efforts to change or correct it. Don’t cloud your thinking by assuming the people responsible for perpetuating the problem are necessarily evil:  carrying out the equilibriating reflexes of the system, their own conscious motives and intentions could be very different. Your purpose is to identify and intercept in some way those automatic system reflexes, instead of having to override them.
  2. Prepare the map or grid according to the instructions, or as modelled for you. Pads of small Post-Its are good also to have on hand, though not absolutely required.
  3. Imagine the problem you’re addressing to have been solved, exaggeratedly solved to the point of overshoot. Speculate freely about what conditions would be like if that problem were, in fact, so extremely and profusely solved.
  4. Identify (and brainstorm!) “All players in the game and all players in the wings of the game” –anyone, any person, any group, any organization or other interest-factor with some conceivable stake in how that situation in fact plays out. Identify (and write, one to a sheet on one of those Post-It pads, 50 or more possible identifiable interests at stake in the situation.
  5. Flash-Vote: Between the values of minus 3 (deeply against) and plus three (enthusiastically for) the change in the problem situation represented by that overshoot solution, identify how each of those “players” sees their interests affected in the short run by such an outcome. Place each Post-It sheet on your map according to the averaging of your group’s vote. This process must orient on the short term and be done in haste to closely parallel and predict the way publics respond in real life.
    • Squiggle — some of your group see that particular interest quite favorable to the change while others in your group see that particular group quite averse to it.
    • Asterisk or Star — you perceive a particular “player’s” short-term interests running strongly in one direction but long-term interests running strongly in the opposite direction.
  6. Tinker up your proposed solution to the problem situation until you can bring most or, if possible, all of the players positive, above the 0-line, and still have a distinctive thrust of solution.

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