The DASH Approach Overview
Think about your job or personal life and ask yourself what you really want to achieve. Ask yourself:
- How can I better develop ideas to make a real difference?
- How do can I best use my time when trying to achieve my goals?
DASH helps you think more clearly and get the best out of other people in trying to achieve your goals.
The DASH Approach provides a structured approach to thinking and influencing people to solve difficult problems. It helps you apply the skills needed to succeed.
- Understanding the viewpoint of others (listening)
- Absorb and analyse information (thinking)
- Finding innovative solutions (creating)
- Choosing the best course of action (deciding)
- Effectively making your point understood (communicating)
- Being able to revise your thinking based on new information (adapting thinking position).
- Persuading others of your point of view (negotiating)
The DASH Approach helps you apply skills to achieve your goals. There are three techniques in the DASH Approach:
- Outcome Driven Engagement: an approach for dealing with people to influence outcomes.
- Test Driven Thinking: an approach for thinking rigorously about problems and solutions.
- The DASH Onion: an approach to frame problems to provide a comprehensive view of all of the possible solutions.
Finding a solution to a problem and dealing with people are different types of skills that are often not compatible. When thinking through a problem, having a critical mind is important, yet when engaging with people being critical of others can compromise your ability to influence them. In thinking, if you are overly led by the opinions of others you can compromise your ability to understand the essence of the problem. This can lead to the wrong decisions being made. Many people are naturally good at one of these two skill areas but not the other.
The DASH Approach helps you to achieve a balance between the two skills, by helping consciously switch your mindset depending on whether you need to engage with people or to objectively examine a difficult problem.
DASH is short for: Decision Agility with Stakeholders. It helps you to look for the right solution to a problem by using:
Being able to switch between these two skills creates a virtuous circle that improves both your thinking and your engagement with people. The use of the word driven in each of these serves as a reminder that you are consciously working towards an objective to achieve an outcome. This means that the effort that you put in needs to be spent well so that you do not get caught up in unproductive activities.
Test Driven Thinking helps make sure that you have considered all the information you have. It helps you to develop a hypothesis about the state of a problem and solution to use as a basis for engaging with people. Outcome Driven Engagement helps get the best out of people so that you can focus on themes that need to be communicated or validated. This helps other people’s insight to improve your thinking.
Each of the activities in DASH follows a cycle that is repeatable and easy to understand. The steps within each cycle are described to make it simple to remember.
The DASH Onion Canvas is a practical worksheet which is free to use. It is a starting point to understand a problem in terms of the wider influences and the outcomes required, so that the scope of the solution can be defined to achieve the best outcome.
DASH Teams or Individuals
An individual or team can use DASH, to help them reach their objectives in relation to the people with whom they engage. DASH can be used to deliver a formal project or help a group of people working collaboratively. Individuals and teams that use DASH will get better results. A DASH Team is productive in its thinking and considers of the needs of stakeholders.
The diagram shows the ways that you can use DASH: