Effective decisions in less than 1h

LDJ, lightning decision jam, design, thinking, effective, mind map. decision, meeting, agile

One of the main issues a CEO, a manager, a team leader or a member of a team has to face, is to take decisions. Frequently people talks in the same session of multiple things, wasting time being out of topic for the most or talking about angel’s sex for the remaining. But there’s a way with which you can control the process in taking decisions, leading people to collaborate being each the king (or queen) of the table. This is: Lightning Decision Jam.

In the cover picture, a mind map I’ve prepared for your further consultation. It’s easy, immediate, and mind-recalling. Before proceeding, please have a look at it, take a couple of minutes to navigate through its branches from the center to the leaves in clockwise order.

The Good

Start sticking the main panel – the one with the sea and the boat – in a wall. The sky area is for the good things, the one where the wind pushes the boat to go fast; the sea area – with the anchor – is for the not so good things, the one where the anchor slow down speed and thoughts. Distribute a set of post-it to the attendees. Start asking

Write one per each post-it, the three/five/seven best thing we’ve done so far for this [TOPIC]

Give people 3 minutes to complete, then read each post-it and stick it to the sky area in the panel. Good things set the environment clean, open the minds, generate dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin so your body could only benefit from these.

The Bad

Do the same thing except for this time the question is about the things that went wrong, with a different color-set of post-it. Give 4 minutes to complete the activity, don’t read the post-it and simply stick them to the sea area. Don’t read at loud voice is because each person could read it with no influencing others in their thinking.


Now, give 3 round-shaped stickers for each participant; they need to vote each bad thing they think most affect the design or the decision or the topic to be developed. Only three votes, potentially all three also in the same post-it. Give people 3 minutes to read and stick the stickers to the post-it.

Then take two minutes to order the post-its from the most to the less voted.

New light on the spot (How Might We)

Talking about bad thing let your brain to think only at those bad things. Give people a different color set of post-it, and ask:

For each post-it, ask yourself: how might we make [BAD THING] turn into a [PROPOSITIVE THING]?

Give 5 minutes to complete this process, and letting people stick this post-it to the wall.

Re-ordering ideas

Using the same above-explained prioritization method, give 6 round-shaped stickers to all attendees, to let them vote the HMW solutions they like the most within 4 minutes. Then, take 10 minutes to order the solutions, potentially aggregate them for similarities, and read them at a clear and loud voice.


Each idea, from the most voted to the less one, will have an effort to be completed, and an impact on the whole scenario. So, for each solution idea, take the post-it, position in the center of the graph, and with the help of people position it left or right, more or less compared with the others, or up and down. Avoid chatting and arguing among people at all. 15 minutes to complete.

Take a decision

The most important things to do now is to take decisions on the outcomes. Of course, the best things to do are the one on the top-left corner, the one that with the less effort guarantee the  best impact. Things on the bottom left corner could be accomplished assigning simple tasks to the people, while top-right corner ideas need to be scheduled as a project because their effort is valuable despite the results they can produce. Put on hold bottom-right ideas. 7 minutes to complete.

The end … or not?

Now, ask people to identify 3 actions, 1 per post-it, to test the effectiveness of the idea. Give them 5 minutes to think and write. Then, test these ideas for 1-2 weeks. At the end, schedule a meeting to let people provide feedback on the outcomes and refine the process.


I don’t think there’s much to say. In around 1 hour you get a complete result on taking a decision, with ideas on how to solve issues and overtake impediments. This method works because it is convergent – people aggregating ideas – on its divergence – each people think alone at its solution.

In case you need help or want to share your thoughts, simply write to me at contactme [at] enricocarollo [dot] com or in the comments dedicated to you, here below.

2 thoughts on “Effective decisions in less than 1h

  1. It was explained so clearly that mind maps are a creative approach for agile team. Thanks to this article it gave me understanding on the importance of mind map- to help me organize ideas around a primary subject and categorize them into particular branches. In our organization, mind maps are valuable in both our personal and professional life.

  2. Mind maps are a creative technique for agile teams, as was clearly demonstrated. This essay helped me comprehend the significance of mind maps in organizing ideas around a central theme and categorizing them into specific branches. Mind maps are useful in our company.

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