Category Archive. Participants: Who are they?
What are they coming for? (credits: ILRI) In the second part of this second chapter on the chemistry of magical (event) facilitation, I will examine the attendance (the participants), the location and the dynamics of the event, the other three crucial elements to make the HERALD play for you, as well as the matter at hand: the content. Attendance (the participants) The people that participate to your event are perhaps the most important and delicate part behind the success (or failure) of your entire event because you can prepare and mould every other bit of the event, but not your participants.
So when looking at your attendance, think about: presence, profile and relation (both now and after the event).Presence of participants Presence relates both to their physical and to their emotional/intellectual presence. First of all, you need the physical presence of your participants. Secondly, what really motivates them to attend the event? Location (the venue) Www.iaf-world.org/Libraries/Certification_documents/Competencies.sflb.ashx. Www.theweave.info/images/TheWeave-V1-High-July2011.pdf.
Wasafiri. Innovation Is About Arguing, Not Brainstorming. Here's How To Argue Productively. Turns out that brainstorming--that go-to approach to generating new ideas since the 1940s--isn’t the golden ticket to innovation after all.
Both Jonah Lehrer, in a recent article in The New Yorker , and Susan Cain, in her new book Quiet , have asserted as much. Science shows that brainstorms can activate a neurological fear of rejection and that groups are not necessarily more creative than individuals. Brainstorming can actually be detrimental to good ideas. But the idea behind brainstorming is right. To innovate, we need environments that support imaginative thinking, where we can go through many crazy, tangential, and even bad ideas to come up with good ones. So if not from brainstorming, where do good ideas come from? At Continuum, we use deliberative discourse--or what we fondly call “Argue. So we argue. Breaking down hierarchy is critical for deliberative discourse. It’s widely evangelized that successful brainstorms rely on acceptance of all ideas and judgment of none. Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving. Cynefin - Recognising and Responding to Complexity. Companies often deal with "wicked problems" which are intractable, often because technical, cultural and managerial opinion is divided.
Making decisions will usually be done in a climate where it cannot be assumed that everyone shares the same values or agrees on their priorities. Imposing a solution where there is no clear and overpowering rationale for it, can generate open refusal to implement it or, at best, grudging compliance. One of the effective ways we have found to approach such problems is to introduce the idea of "sense-making in complexity". (This approach was developed by Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge. *) Snowden suggests that complex situations require "emergent decision-making".
This implies that decision-making takes place within a "deliberative" environment where participants have sufficient time to re-visit questions as their understanding develops. Each of the four main Cynefin domains is characterised in terms of - the appropriate action heuristic you would adopt. The ills of poor event design and facilitation. Since there will be a lot of event facilitation for me to do at ILRI, it is likely that I blog more about it in the coming months.
It makes sense after all, since productive conversations (and learning) are central to my understanding of knowledge management, and well-designed events generate truly productive conversations. Badly designed ones, on the other hand, take us as hostages and they are still all too frequent. What too many events lead to... (credits: SD on FlickR) We have all been attending ‘death-by-Powerpoint‘(1) conferences and events. Having mulled over those events all too often, here is one attempt at explaining what is wrong with this type of events and why they are taking everyone as hostage: By letting one person monopolise the power to speak in the audience, they are freezing the (costly) time of everyone in the assembly – whether they are interested or not.Precisely, not everyone may be interested in the topic discussed in the plenary session, but there is no way out!
Rethinking facilitation and engagement. Time to sharpen my skills!
And get to do what I like doing best: dreaming up creative solutions! Since I will have to facilitate a lot of events in my upcoming function, it is a good time to think about workshop facilitation methods and approaches I have been using and might want to make use of in the future to trigger great engagement. AND I WANT FRESH STUFF! I often come back to (among others) the following three of four methods: Open Space and related marketplace, World café and fishbowl… Oh, let’s be clear: many people and organisations still have yet to find out about the disarming simplicity and effectiveness of Open space, enjoy the rich results of world cafés or the relentless dynamic of a fish bowl discussion.
But for slightly more seasoned facilitators, a certain fatigue comes with using the same methods and approaches over and over again, however open and good they are. On the way to rediscovering energy in group work? Some initial ideas? Related posts: Like this: The chemistry of magical facilitation (1) – mind the BOSSY HERALD. I had mentioned that I would sooner or later set my blogging foot again on facilitation island and would seek the island’s treasure trove to trace the original chemistry that makes magical facilitation happen.
Well, I guess I’ve just landed on the island and am now on my way to find the trove. Facilitation magic takes the power of the collective to the next level (Photo credits: mello.luiz/FlickR) This journey will take four steps: Mapping the big picture to understand the wide angle and political side of the event you are designing or facilitating – i.e. the subject of this very post;Tracking the details of that wide angle, to ensure your take on that wide angle and politics is viable and operational;Zooming in on appropriate facilitation methods to go functional and finally…Diving in dynamics, at the heart of the workshop, to inject the relational and emotional. It’s the chemical combination of these four elements that makes your facilitation magical. 1.
Big picture. Related blog posts: Facilitation. The other night, on the forelast night of a workshop I realised it would be good to lay out the principles of facilitating a good workshop in my view: The experience of participants matters more than anything else; be ready to spend long nights for them;They cannot fail any exercise but your exercise could fail them: be prepared to revise your inputs and adapt exercises based on feedback received (however frustrating that may be);The more you work the less they work; the less they work the less they learn: Don’t jam their programme with all the knowledge you’d like to share with them and think about more exercises for them to do; Facilitating is inviting and assisting others to bring the best of themselvesSpend more time for them to peer review each other!
There’s never enough time to review peer work! Use as many examples as you can! You will never come up with too many practical examples and this indicates that you actually have first hand experience with it! Like this: Like Loading... Top 25 signs that a workshop isn’t working. Signs that the workshop could have been better prepared: At the end the problem owner says things like “Well, that was a bloody waste of time, as I knew it would be.”When the facilitator asks the problem owner if the workshop seems to be going the way he expected, he says things like “You tell me.” or “I can’t see anything that looks like an idea.” or “How am I supposed to know?”
None of the ideas proposed are things that the participants have any authority, experience or competence to implement.The ideas are all abstract nouns ( improve communication, engage management, define strategy, …).There is a parade of elephants in the room that everyone is studiously ignoring.No-one turns up. Signs that the workshop has not been properly designed: Signs that the facilitation team is less than well-prepared Signs that the workshop is doomed from the start There is more than one problem owner.The problem owner is not there.There is no problem owner. Like this: Like Loading... Should a Facilitator be Independant or act as a Consultant? Here are my views. I'd be interetested in yours. The chemistry of magical facilitation (2) – Put the bossy herald to play for you.
Facilitation is the art of seamlessly inviting all contributions to collective sense-making.
As such it is an essential element of knowledge sharing, knowledge management and social learning. So, in the previous chapter of this series, we’ve looked at the big picture of facilitation, how to handle the BOSSY HERALD, particularly in its bossy part. Let’s assume we’re there, we’ve dealt with the politics of the event. Now comes the moment to apply the design in practice i.e. to focus on the HERALD (part) in detail, and to put it to play for you. This moves the reflection from ‘what should be?’ In this second chapter, I’m looking at the first three pointers of the HERALD: How-to/heuristics (facilitation tools and approaches) very briefly, Extent (duration) and Running the event (the facilitator/s).
Proces design and facilitation, a complex ballpark (credits: The Value Web/FlickR) How-to and heuristics (the tools) Facilitation method set-up mapped for an event design (credits: me) Like this: 10 principles of innovation. Harmony v.s stimulation - ideation - journal paper. Options for accessing this content: Type your institution's name in the box below.
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