Thinking Beyond the Status Quo

Purpose of the Tool:

  • This tool considers the importance of leveraging the diversity of thought in your action teams. After a common problem/issue has been identified, this tool is useful for considering alternatives for action beyond what is typical or what dominant discourse may suggest.
  • In particular, use the tool to consider addressing barriers to access or systemic situations that are currently perpetuating inequitable outcomes with your issue.

Suggested Use:

  1. Begin by ensuring a common understanding of the problem, issue, target populations, and situational context (see Define the Problem with Data for more assistance).
  2. Break into groups and allow each group to select one or multiple prompts. Creativity is more essential than feasibility at this stage. The goal is to generate many ideas.
  3. Come together to discuss the results. For example, are there any common threads worth considering? For far-fetched ideas, are there elements that are particularly appealing that could be translated into something more incremental and realistic? What is ‘usually done’ in your situation? What are the benefits and risks of pursuing a different route?

Example: The Steering Committee is considering the latest data project reports and is trying to identify ways to decrease unemployment disparities in neighborhoods with high levels of identified racial disparities in outcomes. The group can use the tool as a starting place to identify potential action steps.

Please complete the following feedback survey regarding this tool.