Groups use a *structured approach* to examine and solve a problem. This helps groups maintain a focused and orderly discussion about the problem. To apply the structured problem-

*Define and analyze the problem.*Gather information to understand the nature, scope, causes, and effects of the problem. The General Electric team did this when it gathered information from child development and museum specialists. Group leaders are responsible for making sure the team gathers enough information about the problem and critically analyzes that information.*Establish criteria for a solution.*Define the criteria that an acceptable solution must meet. For example, what is the deadline? What results must the solution produce? What is the maximum cost the solution can incur? The General Electric team identified “reduce need for sedation” as a criterion for its solution.*Generate possible solutions.*Suggest a number of potential solutions. If necessary, conduct additional research to understand how similar problems have been solved. More research can also shed light on unintended consequences of the solutions your group is considering. To design the Adventure Series, the General Electric team identified and analyzed many different sketches and story ideas.307

*Choose the best solution.*Using the solution criteria and the discussion about possible solutions, identify the solution that seems optimal. Watch out for overly quick agreement on a solution; this could suggest that your team is falling victim to groupthink.*Implement the solution, and evaluate the results.*Try out the solution, and assess the results to determine whether it is effectively solving the problem. Don’t assume that just because a solution is in place the work is done. The General Electric team tested its solution in one location—Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh— and then continued refining its ideas as it expanded into other medical facilities.