Andreas Scholl-Fleischer is a partner in the consultancy firm Epikon. He says: “I do not launch a project before those involved have expressed their problems and dreams,”. This is where he makes use of his Dialoogle cards.
Andreas Scholl-Fleischer is a partner of the consultancy firm Epikon and works with streamlining the health sector. Efficiency has become a mantra to Andreas. Typically, his task is to contribute to a better flow for the patients and a better job satisfaction for the employees at the hospitals. Employees who feel that their daily work is more efficient often thrive better, and vice versa employees who thrive are often more efficient. This cycle is beneficial for both employees and patients.
“I do not launch a project before those involved have expressed their problems and dreams,” Andreas tells us. This is where he makes use of his Dialoogle cards.
“At first, I ask the participants to find a card that illustrates the present situation. Typically, they focus on bottlenecks, growing stacks of paper, frustrated patients, a high rate of sickness absence, problems in cooperation and stress. A vicious cycle in which inefficiency causes more inefficiency, and where job satisfaction is low.”
“Then I ask everyone to find a picture card that describes the goal of the journey we are about to make – their dreams and visions. Using the cards, we can have a vision ready in 15 minutes. I make this vision visual by making a poster with the chosen pictures and a summary of the goals formulated by the project group. The poster is put in a place that everyone sees at least once a day. It makes it easy to remember and express what the group is working to achieve.”
However, the elements of the mutual vision are not the only thing Andreas gains by using picture cards.
“I get a lot more to work with than the participants realize. For instance, I can get a sense of the motivation for the project of each individual participant, and I can get a good impression of their personalities and roles in the group.”
It has only happened once that in Andreas’ experience that a participant couldn’t put word to his picture card. In this type of situation, Andreas also works effectively: “It turned out to be due to the fact that he was opposed to the project as a whole. I had to act on this issue right away. We need to move forward, and if someone ultimately does not want to participate, they have to leave the project.”
It also happens sometimes that people are sceptical of the picture tool. In this case, Andreas asks them to focus on the issue instead of the tool. Another way to get around scepticism is to ask the department manager to be the first one to choose a card and talk about it so everyone can see that management trusts the method.
When the project has been completed and the participants meet to evaluate the results, Andreas hands out an envelope to each participant, in which he has put the picture card that they chose as a symbol of their vision at the start of the project. At a suitable point of the evaluation, he asks everyone to open their envelopes and asks them if they have realized their dreams. In this part, it is Andreas who is judged on his own efficiency.
“I use only Edition 8 and have become quite good at working with this series of pictures, because I gradually get to know all the many nuances of these particular cards that in my opinion can illustrate the feelings and facts that people need to express. I think it improves my ability to ask good questions about the stories that the cards are generating,” Andreas says. He has also used the Dialoogle cards in Norway, Sweden and Iceland. “You can use them independently of language.”