Jan 16, 2019

By Yue-Ching Cheng Diploma Program Coordinator & Instructor

As Recreation Professionals, we operate in a somewhat ‘grey’ area that is both interdisciplinary in nature, but also poorly defined in general. We constantly have create options and solutions in order to make decisions that appeal to multiple parties. That process requires us to be innovative and creative in our work.

However, with limited time and resources, many of us scurry from one problem to the next and do not get the opportunity to connect broadly (outside of our recreation world) to gain better insight and seek alternative perspectives to our issues.

Part of the challenge in creating solutions to problems is the perspective that we take. We have our biases and perspectives to our work that make us efficient in our day-to-day decision making, but what if those biases and perspectives have narrowed our view of the world? We wouldn’t see options that lay beyond our scope because of the way we frame our problems.

The next time you have strategic issue, I challenge you to engage someone (or a group) that is outside of your circle to come in and participate in your issue. For example, if you operate in Youth Services, invite someone who works in Senior Services to join your meeting.  Part of the challenge is refrain from educating them in the ‘your’ perspective prior to coming in as that would defeat the purpose of having them there. Keep an open mind as their view might contrast to yours, but they might offer you a different way to look at your challenge that you had not considered before.


Interested in diving into the topic?

Rossiter, J. & Lilien, G. (1994). New “Brainstorming” Principles. Australian Journal of Management, 19 (1), 61-72.

Hammond, J. S., Keeney, R.L., Raiffa, H. (2006). The Hidden Traps in Decision MakingHarvard Business Review, 84(1), 118-126.