A group of people is attempting to accomplish some task as effectively and efficiently as possible. The nature of the task is such that it is not immediately obvious who should do what or how the task should be structured. In order to increase efficiency and effectiveness, specific roles are being assigned to specific people or subteams. As part of the process of exploring the problem space, it is often useful to have people “play the part” of a specific stance toward the subject matter.

How can people organize their work in an effective and efficient manner? In particular, how can a small group of people be sure they explore the entire relevant range of possibilities yet stay focused enough to reach closure.

· Different people have different backgrounds, experiences and skills. Therefore, they have different beliefs about the best approach to the task at hand.
· Discussion and debate about the details of how the group should work may not converge or may take a large proportion of the time and resources allocated to the task itself.
· Some individuals in the group may have more expertise, experience, and skill at taking particular stances toward the subject matter.

One person serves the role of “Stake Warrior.” This term comes from the practice of some Native American tribes during battle of staking oneself to the ground. This gives the warrior some flexibility in maneuvering but prevents retreating too far or going too far into someone else’s territory. Metaphorically, a “Stake Warrior” may keep the group from wondering too far afield or may help keep the group’s position on a topic near some predefined point.

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