Dynamic Facilitation

The Dynamic Facilitator maximizes the possibility for breakthroughs of both head and heart. He or she helps people to think at their best. The best way to reach consensus is to have a breakthrough. Then, groups can quickly solve difficult issues. They also build trust and community spirit, empower individuals, and transform the organization. It's exciting to be in meetings with breakthroughs. Everyone feels involved and each person's giftedness is appreciated. With Dynamic Facilitation € Meetings arrive at better solutions, faster, with more consensus. € Groups achieve breakthroughs on impossible-to-solve issues. € People determine and resolve what's really on their minds. € The process builds trust, respect, and the spirit of community. € Everyone is enthused and committed to the results. € People grow in personal creativity and capability. How is it different? Rather than seeking to manage change, the facilitator elicits, sustains, and enhances the self-organizing dynamic of change. He or she helps people to figure out what they want and to get it themselves. The Dynamic Facilitator works more completely with self-organizing change than the traditional facilitator. The traditional facilitator elicits self-organizing change in the realm of what people think, talk and decide about, but uses the methods of control to manage how they think, talk and decide: breaking big problems into smaller ones, following an agenda or logical steps, and tracking progress toward predetermined goals. This limits the possibility for breakthroughs. It is an approach that minimizes what might go wrong. The Dynamic Facilitator assures a self-organizing dynamic both in what people talk about and how they talk. He or she follows group energy as being more important than any preset agenda, expecting progress to happen in "shifts" of insight, feeling and awareness. It leads to a creative thinking process known as "choice-creating" and is an approach that maiximizes what might go right instead of minimizing what might go wrong. How Dynamic Facilitation Works The Dynamic Facilitator helps people to determine a key issue to work on, what is most important. Then he or she helps people to just be themselves and to speak their minds and hearts. Normally, this can cause problems for a meeting, but the Dynamic Facilitator shapes the situation so that each comment contributes to the group and is appreciated. The Dynamic Facilitator uses four lists to capture and value all comments: 1) Solutions, 2) Concerns, 3) Data, and 4) Problem-statements. The high-quality dialogue that results generates decisions which often happen spontaneously, which are placed on a fifth list: 5) DECISIONS.

When to apply Dynamic Facilitation? Most meetings mute the creativity and passion of people. They aim for logic and reason exclusively. But this emphasis limits the potential of people to solve problems and to form community. It's almost always important to lead with creativity and to expect the group to "leap ahead." Dynamic Facilitation is appropriate for: € Big-issue meetings ‹ dealing with difficult times, crises or "impossible" problems; strategic planning; sparking a leap forward, visioning. € Heart issues ‹resolving conflict, building shared values, building community and teams. € Dialogues ‹coachings, trainings, and personal development. € Straightforward meetings ‹quality improvement meetings, staff meetings, simple decisions, presentations, planning, etc. Dynamic Facilitation uses the appropriate Level of Thinking Four levels of thinking capability are shown in the chart below. Each is associated with a particular model for how change happens. Often, facilitators focus on one model of change only, helping groups address issues at that level. The Dynamic Facilitator starts from the highest level, helping people to address the most pressing issue, but helps people use the appropriate level of thinking.

Levels of Thinking Models of Change -----------------------------------------------------------------------Level 0: Reacting ... Determined by the circumstances. No model of change. -----------------------------------------------------------------------Level 1: Decision-making ... Using a set of standards to separate good from bad. It's choosing the best option from a selection. -----------------------------------------------------------------------Level 2: Problem-solving ... Seeking to really understand the causes to problems and to determine high leverage solutions. It's being able to control change by setting goals and measuring progress. -----------------------------------------------------------------------Level 3: Creative thinking ... Envisaging a desired future and relying on unconscious forces to make it manifest. Brainstorming and appreciative inquiry are examples. -----------------------------------------------------------------------Level 4: Choice-Creating ... Addressing important issues creatively, with open minds and hearts. Win/win breakthroughs are the natural result as well as increased trust and the spirit of community. -----------------------------------------------------------------------The Dynamic Facilitator will often list possible solutions, concerns, data, and problem-statements as a way to value all people and all comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------Seminar topics: Dynamic Facilitation Choice-Creating Self-Organizing Change Transformational Talking Articles: * Dynamic Facilitation and the Magic of Self-Organizing Change by Jim Rough (Published in the AQP Journal) * Choice-creating and Dynamic Facilitation From Society's Breakthrough: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virture in All the People * Choice-creating Overview by Jim Rough (presentation at the IAF Conference Proceedings) * Dynamic Facilitation Tom Atlee's description at his web site (with articles) -----------------------------------------------------------------------Jim Rough & Associates, Inc. - 1040 Taylor Street - Port Townsend, WA 98368 - phone: (360) 385-7118 - fax: (360) 385-6216 - seminars@ToBe.net ------------------------------------------------------------------------