Harbinger Consultants

Culture + Complexity + Change

PROCESS | Facilitation

One of our foundational and constant activities is facilitation, drawing on our deep experience in cultural development, education and communication. Not only is this foundational to community and stakeholder engagement but also to a wide range of strategic processes. Most recently, we’ve development and delivered facilitiation processes for Regional Development Australia Brisbane’s vision and mission development, South East Queensland Chamber of Commerce’s strategic planning, and focus groups as part of the cultural and arts development strategy for Ipswich City Council. John will be facilitating an upcoming deliberative session with Arts Northern Rivers in the near future. Every group is different and every facilitation needs to recognise that difference.

Because facilitation and group processes are such an integral part of our work, we’re also constantly exploring how to improve and expand our own approches to foster a culture of collaboration and engagement. Because facilitation is such a foundational aspect of our work, we ensure that we are always exploring how to derive the best and the most from our gatherings in a way that promotes learning. We’re also constantly exploring methods for improving facilitation processes and promoting authenticity. This we think requires a deeper exploration than just adopting and practicing tools, we also think it requires something deeper and richer especially if the aspiration is about realising potential, co-creating and drawing wisdom.

We’ve most recently been attracted to Theory-U and Triple Task as ‘social technologies’ (i.e. according to Wikipedia, social technology is technology for social purposes, but originally it meant applications of the social sciences for various purposes, especially the selection and exploitation of experts for decision making including processes and procedures). While Theory U suggests that the way in which we attend to a situation determines how a situation unfolds, Triple Task is a participatory action research process that focuses on relationships between and within groups. One of the enduring lessons from our work is that facilitation requires practice and design for faciliation needs to be flexible and open while offering a sense of movement and narrative.


1 Comment»

  nameer davis wrote @

Your comments on modes and aspects of community facilitation are interesting. I wonder if the comments recently published on The Edge site through Geoffrey West are pertinent also. He argues for the inclusion of diversity and clashing styles in communities and corporations that often get distilled down to more adminitratively homogeneous members.
If we look at his argument for heterogeny through research findings on altruism and cooperation in evolutionary life systems it could be construed that communities benefit themselves by owning a bit of inner conflict – providing something to select for and against.

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