Mining Gold

Today, more than ever, organizations are built around people working collaboratively with one another in teams. The continued impetus is for the establishment of synergies between team members that can accomplish tasks that are in keeping with an organization’s strategic initiatives and vision. How are talented people working in groups (some, for the very first time with a new group of people) formed into high-performance teams? Along with this question is the issue of the ad-hoc work groups that are placed together to accomplish very specific tasks in a short amount of time.

Additionally, there are the required departmental level meetings that are called on some regular basis, either weekly, every two-weeks, or monthly. The expectation is that such meetings are necessary and therefore required. And yet, some people consider such teams to be a waste of time, money, and resources.

The Mining Group Gold process is a team process and meeting management process whose sole purpose is to leverage the combined wisdom, experience, and ideas of everyone on the team in order to cash in on this wisdom to improve the overall meeting process and to improve the decisions of the organizational unit.

Kayser (1995) developed and perfected a method for teams or groups of individuals to maximize and capitalize on their collective effort in a decision meeting venue. Kayser’s steps to Mining Group Gold are to (a) establish a purpose for the meeting; (b) set the outcomes that the group wishes to achieve from the meeting; (c) assign the roles of facilitator, scribe, and timekeeper; (d) set an agenda for the meeting; and (e) perform periodic time checks during the session to keep the group on track and on task. The connection between the Bikhchandani et al. model of observational learning and Kayser’s Mining Group Gold process is that significant behavioral observation and reflection are taking place. The focus is more on the process dynamics that a group uses to reach a consensus rather than on the outcomes directly (Kayser, 1995).

Brandt (2001) reported that teamwork assists with understanding in an organizational unit. The author suggests that by fostering an environment of collaboration, managers will be able to positively impact the outcomes of the groups. The appreciation, or understanding, of conflict in a group setting can be made to work for the process rather than against it. Brandt further states that teamwork is imperative with regards to enhancing decision-making and improving communication (Brandt, 2001, p. 32). Brandt additionally posits that it is important to examine the behaviors of the members of the team. The author suggests breaking down the process into the elements of antecedent conditions, perceived conflicts, felt conflict, and manifest behavior (Brandt, 2001, p. 34). Kayser (1995) suggests in Mining Group Gold a methodology for dealing with feelings in a group setting. Brandt states that effective problem solving is only possible when feelings are kept under control. Brandt concludes her article by suggesting five ways to handle conflict in a group setting. They are collaboration, accommodation, avoidance, competition, and compromise (Brandt, 2001, p. 35).



The following summarizes the key points of the Mining Group Gold meeting process.

Mining Group Gold

The five basic steps for Mining Group Gold

1. Determine the purpose of the session or meeting.

2. Determine the desired outcomes of the session or meeting.

3. Assign the roles of facilitator, scribe, and timekeeper.

4. Set the agenda.

5. Establish the time allocation for each item on the agenda.


*Remember: Mining Group Gold is a process. It is effective for all types of sessions or meetings.

Other ideas and concepts to consider:

1. The roles of primary and secondary facilitator

2. The idea of switching hats when you are the facilitator

3. The agenda check