Whole elephant

From Pearl Language
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…a complex issue that needs to be tackled by a group of people with diverse interests, skills, and knowledge.

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To lay the groundwork for people to open up to each other, and find out what the right things are that require your energy and attention helps focus the, often scarce, energy, so you do not run out of steam.

Exploring the whole elephant is about capturing a complete sense of the whole domain—a map or list of issues—deliberately deferring exploration of the solution space (hence, sticky problem space and lingering open conflicts) in order to:

  • get everybody talking about the same world;
  • enable every individual to contribute—if they wish;
  • level the playing field;
  • make relationship all have to their task apparent; and
  • encourage individuals to differentiate themselves, making integration more probable.


Get out all the issues, find out what matters most, and then uncover common ground that may lead to any solutions and directions to resolve them.

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