Though a structured “problem-solving” process provides the framework for the day’s activities; the process is quite adaptable. The focus, objectives, and activities can be custom fit to the needs and dynamics of any organization. Common areas of focus include communication improvement, team-building, leadership development, conflict management, and strategic planning. The core of the activities is built around addressing a real issue for the organization. Even when this “solving a problem” aspect is secondary to the developmental benefits of the workshop, it is key to the impactfulness of the process. It provides a “gravitational center” for the activities, drawing the energy and attention of participants as only having a personal stake in the outcome can. It can be anything from a serious and difficult problem that the organization has wrestled with for a long time without success, to a “lite” project like planning a company party.
The IPS session begins with a brief layman’s explanation and participatory demonstration of the theory behind the activities, to create a context for the day’s program and to reconcile what participants may already know about the Myers-Briggs instrument (and about their own type preferences) with the IPS approach.
Next we proceed to address the problem, issue, or project using eight distinct steps; each drawing upon a different one of the eight mental processes. Before each step, we describe and demonstrate the unique focus of the mental process to be engaged, plus the piece of the decision-making process to be accomplished, and the procedure to be followed. The steps will produce information, analysis, evaluation, or decisions (depending on the step) that represent the collective efforts of the entire group.