If you want to go fast go alone – if you want to go far go together (African Proverb)

Facilitate, fa sil'it at; vb.

To make easy, to lessen the labour of, to remove obstacles, to release, to set free.
Oxford English Dictionary

We live in a world where there is a paradox that we have never had so much information but because of this it is humanly impossible for one or two ‘Very Clever People’ to know all the answers. So we need to get people to share their wisdom, understanding and unique skills and get them talking and listening to each other. We need everyone to participate, collaborate and contribute to lasting solutions. Facilitation is the key to making this happen.

Facilitation has its roots in systems thinking which identifies that ‘problems’ cannot be viewed in isolation of the system within which they are operating. This means that organisations need to engage people working within the whole system. Engaging people in finding improvements also has the added benefit of building in commitment to the agreed actions.

A facilitator is someone who uses knowledge of group processes and group dynamics to formulate and deliver the necessary structure for group interactions to be effective. By focussing on the group processes and dynamics the facilitator enables the participants to focus on the content or the substance of their work together.

We at facilitate 4 change adopt a whole systems approach to the meetings process using a simple model: 

meetings process and facilitation

  • The Task of the group is to identify and move from undesired State A to desired State B and they bring the necessary content information and knowledge to the meeting.
  • The Process is how the group will achieve the Task – what tools and techniques will be used to focus the thinking and decisions? This is the responsibility of the Facilitator who is skilled in Process Design.
  • The Dynamic is the environment of the meeting – ‘hard stuff’ like have we enough time, the right people, the right physical environment, food, drink etc. as well as the ‘soft stuff’ like how do we manage conflict, is it ok to laugh, is conflict allowed etc. This is the second key responsibility of the Facilitator who is skilled in understanding, creating and working with the group dynamic.

So a facilitate 4 change facilitator will work with you to:

  • Clarify your thinking around your current and future States.
  • Help you identify, clearly define and scope exactly what the Task you want to achieve is. This will comprise a clear Purpose and Outcomes (deliverables) for the meeting. Where appropriate the Outcomes will include a clear Action Plan to make it happen showing clear responsibilities and time lines and a monitoring process to check progress.
  • Design and agree a Process that will help the group deliver the desired outcomes.
  • Create an appropriate Dynamic by – for example – ensuring the right people are there (by virtue of value adding – not status), ensuring the location, space, setting etc. is right – ensuring the right time is made available, not too long or too short to achieve the Task – identify potential barriers in the form of historical behaviour, culture, power, hidden agendas etc.

Contact us to discuss how we may help you use facilitation to improve yourself or your organisation.