Facilitation and Process methodology is based upon 20 years of study and practice across several disciplines including:
Facilitation is the act of empowering clients because, in the end, clients have within themselves the passion, energy and knowledge required to create solutions. True facilitation designs a respectful process that allows individuals to co-create solutions and in the process develop mutual trust, respect and a sense of community.
Facilitation is most effective when approached with a strengths-based frame of reference. Congruent with a strengths-based approach is the discipline of appreciative inquiry that seeks to strengthen a system’s capacity to heighten positive potential and “core” of the organization. The appreciative inquiry foundation bases process on the strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results of an organization.
Facilitation is about thinking and acting at the systems level. This systems-thinking is the ability to see that the whole is more than the sum of the parts and the ability to synthesize, order, and make sense of raw meeting data, ideas and thoughts. A critical skill of a facilitator is the ability to hold the system-view sorting and organizing the bits of data into a systematic and systemic whole.
Assessment and Evaluation
Facilitation requires a facilitator to be able to assess and evaluate as a core function of the facilitation process. Conducting literature reviews, community needs assessments, qualitative and quantitative research and synthesizing historical documents is an essential component to successful facilitation.
Performance Improvement Theories
Facilitation is a subset of skills of the larger development and performance improvement theories. Most organizational challenges can essentially be boiled down to addressing the gap between where the organization is now and where it wants to be. Facilitation, as the act of closing the gap, is informed by performance improvement theories.
Facilitation also must be informed by the practice and theory related to educational technology. More than Google searching or creating online surveys, the practice of facilitation must understand the dynamics between people and technology.
Facilitation includes a range of organizational and group process theories and models such as scenario planning, appreciative inquiry, open space technology, outcome mapping, interest-based problem solving, mediation as well as standard process facilitation and strategic planning tools.