September 18, 2018

About Syntegration

Syntegration is a proprietary, science-based methodology for quickly solving complex challenges, deepening relationships,and mobilizing large groups for execution.

What follows is a description of the “classic” Syntegration format.

How it works

Prior to the start of a Syntegration, two things must happen.

  • The Central Question must be properly framed and articulated.
  • Participants must be carefully selected and invited

The Central Question

The Central Question represents the macro challenge, issue, problem, or initiative upon which participants will focus their bestthinking, discussion and debate. It is posed as a question, and is not ‘leading’ or ‘biased’ – that is, it does not imply ananswer/solution.

Central Questions can be broadly or narrowly defined. For example:

“What must we do now and over the next 12 months to drive revenue growth and maximize our profitability (EPS > 0.50 by2016, > 1.00 by 2017)?”

“What must we do now and over the next two years in healthcare education to have the greatest immediate and long-termimpact on the development of talent across all health professions locally, nationally and internationally?”

“Given the rapidly changing health care landscape, how can our primary care physicians and other strategic partners createa sustainable, patient-centered model of care that achieves national best-in-class clinical performance, delivers value to thecommunity, and provides for a rewarding professional experience within the next three years?”

The Participants

The participant group is carefully selected to represent the “requisite variety” and critical mass of individuals with thecombined knowledge, experience, and influence necessary to co-create solutions and execute. Participants are selectedfrom within the organization, as well as from outside the organization. Depending on the situation, participants may includeone or more of value chain partners, external experts, management consultants from top tier consultancies, vendors,customers, stakeholders, or others.

Setting the Agenda

There is no predetermined agenda. The Syntegration begins with the participants setting the agenda. Participants are guidedthrough a half-day process where they individually and collectively propose, debate, and arrive at consensus on a 12-topicagenda. The 12 topics are what the participants collectively deem to be the most important topics of discussion for resolvingthe Central Question. What might have started out as 200 or more potential topics generated at the beginning of a fairlytypical brainstorming exercise have ultimately been distilled by the participants – through an important process of discussionand negotiation – to 12 key agenda items. The specific number of topics (12) is important – not too many to bog down thediscussions, and not too few to under represent the complexity of the Central Question. The 12 agenda items are a startingpoint for ensuing discussions and they are also intricately linked with the underlying architecture of the Syntegration, anarchitecture that drives optimal cross-pollination and integration.

Participant Roles

Once the 12-topic agenda has been determined, participants identify their preferences for membership on the 12 TopicTeams using a ranking of 1 through 12, 1 indicating the most desired, and 12 being the least. Each participant will be aMember, Critic, and Observer of various teams.

The three different roles ensure that everyone experiences very rich, very productive dialogue and candid debate, and theydo so focused on the right topics of discussion. Nothing is left unsaid, and everyone gets heard.

The Architecture

The architecture for the process is based on the regular polyhedron known as the icosahedron (see image below). It is a 12-cornered, 20-faced, 30-edged shape that models an idealized communication network for between 18 - 48 people discussing12 topics. Collectively, the people who serve as Members, Critics and Observers on multiple Topic Teams connect togetherall of the Topics – providing a “closed loop” for the flow of information.

Documenting the Results

Results are documented in real time. A final synthesis and report is delivered within 10-days of Syntegration completion.

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