Crowdsourcing is a buzzword for community engagement and a skilled facilitator can unleash the potential of the crowd through a carefully constructed facilitation process.
Events planned by distributed planning teams design a process that use of technology, meeting process, and document management to ensure planning success.
When convening a group, two of the primary tasks of a facilitator are to clearly articulate the label that is applied to the group and to create an appropriate social contract between group members.
Empowerment education is a critical theory that serves well as one of the foundation stones of facilitation. A facilitator needs to understand the experiences and world views of the group in order to successfully foster change and further the learning process.
Some have suggested that the shift from government to governance is a revolution. Others, like me, believe that governance thinking is simply the process of re-imagining and re-discovering our roots in community organizing.
Scenario planning is a useful tool for nonprofit leaders that works best where there is leadership, openness to change, uncertainty future, and the time to process the uncertainty.
A community engagement process such as developing a coalition or an advisory group typically has the dual purposes of achieving a specific program outcome (such as advocating for funding or policy change) and attempts to build social networks between participants.
Skilled facilitators can insert rapid framing as a way to manage the chaos of ideas and then to back out in order to keep the group in control of the process.
While meeting management is the basic foundation for facilitation, quality facilitation includes advanced practices and skills in addition to meeting basics. Focusing on these advanced practices will help teams manage process more effectively with a higher return on the time invested.
Whatever the scale of the workplan development process, those teams that invest the attention, focus and resources in working through these six steps will reap the benefits of improved performance.