1. What is the Phillips 66 Method? The Discussion 66 Method was devised by J. Donald Phillips, past president of Hillsdale College, Michigan, U.S.A. in order to attempt to overcome some of the reasons that people are reluctant to express themselves in group situations. It became knows as the Phillips 66 Method after its creator . The method was later outlined by D. Keith Denton in his book “The Toolbox for the Mind” . The Phillips 66 Method is a group discussion technique which is used to help overcome the problem of silence in group situations and to ensure that everyone gets a chance to contribute to the discussion. The group is divided into sub-groups of six participants each. These groups each spend six minutes discussing possible solutions to an identified problem, and then report back to the larger group with a proposed solution . The Phillips 66 Method is useful for large companies or groups. It is a means to get feedback from a large number of people on specific issues in a formalised way, and within a specific time frame. It can be used to evaluate strategy or procedures. It is often combined with brainstorming techniques and it is particularly suited to helping larger groups to brainstorm more effectively. The Phillips 66 Method is beneficial because it gives all participants the space and freedom to express themselves equally, thus ensuring that as many creative voices as possible contribute to solving the problem in question. The process can be sometimes limited by the time constraint, particularly where there are a number of issues arising and there isn’t sufficient time to discuss all of them. 2. How is it implemented? The Phillips 66 method is designed for use in large group situations but it can be modified for use with smaller groups. Assign an chairperson to manage the overall process Divide participants into groups, with six participants per group. o Assign a team-leader in each group to facilitate the discussion o Assign a note-taker in each group to record the solution devised. o Assign a time keeper in each group to time the sessions. State the problem or issue clearly to ensure you arrive at a relevant and successful solution . o The problem should be concise and to the point without any extra unnecessary information o If the problem is too big it should be divided into smaller, more manageable statements or questions. o Aim for specific and concise answers Set the time limit Each team then has six minutes to devise a solution to the stated problem or issue o The facilitator is responsible for ensuring that all participants in the group have the chance to give their opinions, and that the group have time at the end to sum up and agree a solution. The facilitator is also responsible for ensuring that there is no censorship and that all opinions are welcomed. o The time-keeper is responsible for ensuring that the group keeps to the time limits set o The note-taker is responsible for ensuring that the solution is recorded accurately. Final Discussion When the time is up the chairperson will chair a discussion on the solutions generated. Frequently some similar solutions are produced, and these can be linked or combined where appropriate . 2.1 Sample procedure for a Phillips 66 Session Assign a chairperson Assign a team leader, a note taker and a time keeper in each group The facilitator chairs the session The time-keeper ensures that the group keeps to the time limits set The note-taker ensures that the solution is recorded accurately. Divide participants into groups of six persons State the issue to be discussed Set the time limit and ensure each participant knows their role and responsibilities Final Discussion Assess and rate ideas produced Variations Buzz Groups A buzz group is a small discussion group set up specifically to generate ideas and solve problems, within a specific period of time period. Large groups may be divided into buzz groups in order to maximise participation. Groups work separately either on the same theme or on separate themes. Each group appoints a spokesperson to report the results of the discussion to the larger group . 3. What are the Success Factors in the Phillips 66 Method? The objective of the Phillips 66 method is to help participants overcome any fears they might have of speaking out in front of a large group. To ensure that the method is successful it is very important that participants feel free to express themselves, and feel confident that their ideas and opinions are welcomed and valued. It can be useful to establish the groups in advance of meeting, if possible. This allows the following: Groups can be established which include participants from a range of levels of experience and backgrounds. Facilitators can be chosen in advance and given any training they might need to ensure that they can facilitate the process in an open, supportive and inclusive way. It is important to ensure that the problems or issues under discussion are clearly understood by the participants in the process. It can be useful for the chairperson to spend a few moments before each session outlining the problem to be discussed and clarifying any initial queries. This is also an opportunity for the chairperson to emphasis that all participants’ contributions are welcomed and valued. 4. List of References Websites:  Brainstorming and a nation of Spectators – From: Information for Brainstorming Success. [online]. [Accessed 28th Jan 2008]. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.brainstorming-howto.com  Group Innovation Tools: Discussion 66 – From: Creativity at work [online]. [Accessed 28th Jan 2008]. Available from World Wide Web: http://creativity.atwork-network.com/2007/10/14/group-innovation-toolsdiscussion-66  "Brainstorming." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [online]. [Accessed 28th Jan 2008. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Brainstorming  Business Definition for: Buzz Group – From: BNET Business Directory [online]. [Accessed 13th Feb 2008]. Available from World Wide Web: http://dictionary.bnet.com/definition/buzz+group.html 5. Glossary Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas on a specific problem or issue Buzz Groups: A buzz group is a small discussion group set up specifically to generate ideas and solve problems, within a specific period of time period. 6. Keywords Brainstorming, Buzz Group, Creativity Technique, Discussion 66 Method, Group Discussion Technique, Large Groups, Phillips 66 Method 7. Questions 1) Describe three situations where the Phillips 66 method could be useful and outline why. 2) What are the key success factors in the Phillips 66 method? 3) In the Phillips 66 method each group must develop: (tick one) a. One good idea b. Six ideas c. Six good ideas Answer a. 4) In the Phillips 66 method the note taker must: (tick one) a. Note all ideas accurately b. Note only unusual ideas c. Rank ideas based on own preferences Answer a.