Facilitation is at the heart of my practice. I am always working to create a respectful and supportive atmosphere for effective communication to take place. As my focus is the ‘Goal-Fitness’ of the client, my attention is on the process of how the client is working to identify and reach their goals; whether those goals are clearly understood by all members of the project and whether the actions to be taken to reach those goals are understood and embraced by all participants.
Collaborative Process Design
I work with a team leader or planning committee to design an appropriate meeting or retreat. The design of the meeting/retreat is always a function of the goal, or purpose. My goal is to engage the whole process of design and facilitation so that the group/team achieves the desired result and learns from the process how to increase their own capacity to design and facilitate future meetings/retreats (goal-fitness).
Coaching is at the top of the list, because every intervention or change process, involves some level of coaching. Most coaching is a one-on-one experience with a client manager, or team leader. The greatest leverage for change is located within the person who is in charge and who makes the final decision regarding any proposal brought forth. For this person to interact with a coach during times of uncertainty and complex change is invaluable for the process of optimizing real learning and growth.
Even the best teams have growth opportunity if they want it. There are many ways that a group/team can refine their Goal-Fitness. Some of the more common developments that groups of all types benefit most from are improvements in meeting design, decision making processes and, believe it or not, getting the whole team on the same page about what it’s goals even are!
Teams are dynamic by nature, always changing, and susceptible to impacts from both within and without its standard M.O. Applying the principles of Balance & Optimization to ‘team development’ emphasizes the need for each team member to learn what their strengths and weakness are and to cultivate a culture of personal development within themselves and effective communication with their team members. There are many programs to support this type of growth, including personality assessments, awareness exercises, and performance and accountability measures. The most important quality needed for success is a sincere desire to learn and grow.
Whole System Change
Sometimes, the best way to help a client system make a needed change is to engage as much of the whole system as possible (company, community, organization). By enlisting the participation of members from each key stakeholder group the change strategy has the best chance of generating broad commitment for seeing it through.
I am enthusiastic about engaging a whole system of people to make fundamental changes. This may be one of the higher leverage opportunities for making a systemic change. The process is fundamentally similar to other change strategies but scaled up to include members from each stakeholder group in the system. The potential for learning and change is high. This tends to require visionary leadership to recognize the value of this type of process and to see it through. There is always valued learning from participating in this type of process, let alone the changes that result from it.