Facilitation Guide

Facilitation Cards

Africa’s Isivivane Game of
Knowledge, Transformation and Co-operation helps diverse individuals
work harmoniously to realise a shared dream. (It works for individuals too!) The Game provides structure for the design and management of complex projects. Isivivane creates community spirit and purpose. Since participants design their Game together, they have a commitment to outcomes and ownership of process. The cards can be used to stimulate knowledge sharing, transformation, improved service delivery and empowered interpersonal relationships. Also ideal for strategic planning, innovation, product development and the design of sustainable systems and cultures. Isivivane works well with a variety of audiences, from kids to world leaders.

Game of Knowledge Transformation & Co-operation

TO PREPARE: • Print document on A3 paper or card • Cut out facilitation guide • Punch holes and bind • Cut out cards into circles • Stick front and back together, keeping the pairs matched Your Isivivane boardroom game is ready to play!

About the Isivivane game The Isivivane game helps you see complex realities in new, more empowering ways and suggests that whatever people do can be seen as a game. A game is a socially constructed sequence of actions that includes elements such as vision, goals, language, resources, style, values, rules, roles and rituals. It’s the way these elements interact with each other Playing the Isivivane that creates the experience unique to a Game has the effect of particular game. normal reality. suspending This allows players to reflect on key questions Cards using a broader perspecThe 9 tive than their out on a in cards are laid position table or the organisation normally floor, relative to the points of the comgives them. A circle is pass. visible only when you step outside it. The centre card represents the vision or dream of what needs to be achieved. The other 8 cards have a dynamic relationship with the vision and each other. This system provides the information and structure necessary to action the vision into reality. Players The game can be played by one or more people. They must want to play.

Facilitator The facilitator guides the process, allowing players to generate and record ideas in a safe space. The purpose of the questions on the cards is to generate conversations and input. When agreement is reached, the responses are recorded. When all information has been gathered, it is read out to participants who may then further vote on key issues as a group. Outputs What emerges from the input is that everyone has a clear vision of everybody else’s viewpoints and of the way ahead. Participants also have the experience of contribution to a process. Feedback The facilitator compiles the results into a feedback document that players can refer to as a reminder of the event and the agreed actions going forward.

To be read out by facilitator These are the rules of the game: • Everyone agrees to provide input • We all agree that this is a safe space and that we are all free to voice our deeply-held opinions without fear of witch-hunts or repercussions afterwards • Lively discussion is encouraged • When everyone agrees that they have provided input, then all input is read out to the collective • Voting by show of hands is encouraged • We commit that feedback will be written down and circulated to all participants within 24 hours of the session TIPS Should participants be stuck in the past and reluctant to engage in vision of the future, it is helpful to describe two separate games. 1. The game as it has been played and 2. The new game; as everyone wants it played in the future. The difference between the two games represent the changes that need to be made, with the new game describing the desired end state. This approach is also useful in change management projects.

Out of Nothing comes Something From Vision comes Reality

Process... the beginning 1. Discuss the vision. This is the story of some ideal future state, a vivid word picture that describes what everyone wants. It is important to describe the vision in great detail so that it becomes a compelling ‘strange attractor’ that pulls everyone towards it... and the future. This could take a long time, in which case it is advisable to set aside two sessions; the first to decide the vision and a second session to provide input on the questions on the other 8 cards. ...continued TIP Dream BIG. Create big vision stories of the future in which everybody gets what they want. Inject interest, drama, excitement and humour into the vision. Remember: While going through the other cards, focus must always return to this card. The vision is the organising principle that runs and holds the game together.

VISION Dream up big vision stories of the future in which everybody gets what they want. Inject interest, drama, excitement and humour into the vision. QUESTIONS: What is the name of the game we want to play? What is this game designed to achieve? What tells us that we’re playing the game really well?

Process ...continued 2. With a small group (less than 15), participants engage with each card’s questions until everyone has supplied input. If there are more than 15 people, you need to assign each card to a scribe, who becomes responsible for recording input from all participants. (Scribes can become normal participants and normal participants can become scribes.) 3. When everybody is happy that they have provided input to all the questions, presenters read the responses back to all participants, voting and updating where necessary. ...continued

Jumping over the crocodile When painful history is ritualised, we let danger rest so we may get past for the duration of this process and collectively plan for what we want to experience in the future.

Goals (East). While the attitudes of gameplaying should always be lighthearted, often the outcomes of games such as M&A, restructuring, rightsizing and day trading can be deadly serious. Every game has a goal, even if the goal is to simply continue playing the game in a sustainable manner or to overcome obstacles. While soccer, rugby and cricket matches come to an end with winners and losers, the Game in which all are winners, continues – season after season. Typical goals of business games might include sustainable profits, the creation of wealth and having rewarding interpersonal relationships. For organisations, goals are normally articulated in Vision and Mission statements and in strategic plans. On a personal level, your narrative or ‘story’ articulates your goals as experienced through your identity. What are your personal goals? What are the goals of the games that you are playing? Do they contradict each other? Are the goals worth the effort? How have you reached clarity and agreement with your fellow players about what the goals and nature of the game are?

EAST: GOALS Every game has goals. Goals of designed games might include long-term success, prosperity, sustainability, profitability, happiness, making a difference and having rewarding interpersonal relationships. QUESTIONS: Who else has done this well and what can we learn from them? What are our goals and how do we ensure they work in harmony? How can we agree and get clarity and shared understanding about the goals?

TIPS Everybody must get a turn. When the softest voice has been heard, there may be cohesion. Is the story we’re teling helping us to achieve the dream? If you don’t know the words, you can’t play the game. It’s the story you tell and the way that you tell it that stimulates people to buy, invest in, support and participate in your dream. A good story can motivate, provide hope, inspire and change the entire mood. It can give people a reason to get up in the morning and be dedicated to longterm efforts. Many Africans hold that good stories bring rain and prosperity, while bad stories bring drought and war.

Language and Stories (South East) Every game has its own language which allows participants to talk about and create common experience. Every field of human endeavour has its own language, set of symbols, metaphors and figures of speech that are continuously repeated. What language do you engage in? Is it the language of creativity, opportunity, teamwork and success? Could you appropriate language from other areas to expand your experience and describe your world?

SOUTH-EAST: LANGUAGE AND STORIES Each game has a unique language which allows participants to share common experience. The stories we tell and the way we tell them inspire and create a collective vision of the intended future. We talk the future into becoming. QUESTIONS: What stories and words will get this system working really well? Which words and stories do not have a place in this game?

IDEAS & EXPERIMENTS Why not see whatever you do as a game? It’s not about being competitive about everything, but about enjoying the games you agree to play. How could the games you play become more interesting, rewarding and FUN? Try to name the games around you – these could ‘big games’ like the economy, science, love, poverty, culture, politics, medicine, parenting and war. Are there some games you want to enter? Are there some you wish to leave? What do you have to sacrifice in order to play? Can you be flexible enough to play in different ways? Who is inviting you to play? What are you perceiving? How do others see it?

Resources (South) It is likely that ‘money’ springs to mind when you hear this word but resources also means emotional support, know-how and process knowledge, equipment, networks, access to information, support systems and ‘people you know’. The question of resources asks you to make clear what it is you actually need to make the game work. You may also wish to see a well designed vision or goal as a resource. Make an inventory of all resources you already have and start working with them instead of alwats focusing on those you don’t yet have.

SOUTH: RESOURCES Resources can mean anything from money and equipment to the talents and abilities of participants, financial support, emotional support, specialised know-how and intellectual property, process knowledge, networks, access to information, support systems, ‘people you know’ and well-designed visions and goals. QUESTION: What resources do we need to make the game work really well?

How do you want others to see you?

Style (South West) Style is the way you play the game and embodies your behaviours, thoughts and words. No matter what you are playing, you bring your unique personal style to the game. Style is learned and developed over time and is strongly influenced by role models, self-perception and particularly by feedback. Much as sportsmen view videos of their performance in order to improve themselves, objective feedback allows you to see which behaviours provide desirable outcomes. Where do you get your feedback from and is it helping you to achieve the vision? Are you flexible enough to question your own style, open enough to ask for feedback and creative enough to experiment with new styles? Are you aware that much of your style is influenced by your early childhood experiences and from observing how others respond to situations?

SOUTH-WEST: STYLE Style embodies ‘difference’ in behaviours, thoughts, stories, dress, artefacts, symbols and words. We bring our unique personal style to each game we play. The game itself has a unique style. Designing style is a creative process that is developed over time and is strongly influenced by role models, self-perception, feedback and reflection. QUESTIONS: Where do we get feedback about our style? What style will help us achieve our goals and differentiate our game from others?

Values provide a basis for action and communicate expectations for participation; how the organisation expects everyone to behave. Values should endure and provide a constant source of strength and inspiration for the individual and the organisation that holds them. That which is not valued, should be dealt with in a responsible manner. Values are what you stand for and believe in.

Values (West) Values are standards or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable. They are abstract ideas about what an organisation, society or community believes to be good, right and pleasing They represent your deeply held beliefs as demonstrated through day-to-day behaviours and are the fundamental principles that guide community-driven processes. Values provide a basis for action and communicate expectations for participation and make a public pronouncement about how the organisation expects everyone to behave. It is important to understand that whilst values are influenced by the culture from which you come, you are ultimately responsible for constructing your personal values. So spending time on your values is an important exercise which becomes more useful as you read over and update them from time to time. What values do you need to support in order to play a particular game? Are these values reinforced and expressed in both your language and behaviour? Is there a discrepancy between expressed values and behaviour? How do you come to know what values are required to successfully play the games you are engaged in?

WEST: VALUES Values are standards or qualities considered worthwhile or desireable. They are abstract ideas about what participants believe to be good, right and desireable. Values reflect our most deeply held beliefs, demonstrated through day-to-day behaviours and are the fundamental principles that guide community-driven processes. QUESTIONS: What values do we need to play this game really well? What needs to transform?

The process ...continued 4. Once there is agreement, summarise understandings reached and close the session. 5. To close the session, the facilitator asks each participant to summarise what they have learned and what they now commit to as a result of the process. This is recorded by a scribe and will form part of the final feedback. 6. The facilitator commits to provide feedback to participants within 24 hours of the session. This keeps the initiative moving and refreshes memory of the important agreements reached. 7. Refer to the plan and agreements going forward on an on-going basis to keep the process going. Find ways of reflecting the agreements reached using innovative media. ...end of process More facilitation information, tips and ideas are available on Isivivane.com

Rules (North West) In order to play a game well, you need to be clear about the rules, both written and unwritten, and work with them, stretching the boundaries where possible. Rules stipulate what can and cannot be done and not playing by the rules means you risk penalty or even exclusion from the game. Can the rules be bent or questioned? Are the rules applied consistently? Are the rules of the game stifling innovation and creativity? Is everyone clear about what the rules are?

NORTH-WEST: RULES In order to play a game well, we need to be clear about what the rules and patterns of success are; both written and unwritten. Rules stipulate what can and cannot be done and not playing by the rules means penalty or even exclusion from the game. QUESTIONS: What are the key rules of this game? Which rules could stimulate innovation and creativity? How can everyone be clear about the rules of the game?

More on the roles in this game: Participants (players) are there to provide honest responses to the questions and play the game. The facilitator holds the safe-space, reads the instructions and questions and ensures everybody gets their say. The facilitator records decisions and votes and is responsible for providing feedback to all participants following the event. The scribe records participants’ answers to the questions. The scribe can change roles and become a participant in order to contribute to the questioning process. The presenter reads the collective input for each card to all participants. Should there be disagreement, decisions can be taken via a show of hands, recorded by the facilitator. Usually the presenter is someone who is a scribe who volunteers to present for a specific card. It could also be someone who is spontaneously chosen by the group. For example, the facilitator may ask the group: Who will present the answers for the North-East?

Roles (North) Every human being plays a number of different roles in different games in day-to-day life. In addition to the kinship roles (you are someone’s child, lover, brother or sister, father or mother etc.) you probably play many different roles in the workplace as well. Think of the roles of friend, confidante, coach, mentor, boss, subordinate or even petty tyrant, that you play. Are the roles clear to you? Are there better ways to perform these roles? Are you expending the appropriate amount of energy in these roles? How would you know if you were performing your role exceptionally well or badly? Who gives you feedback? Organisational theorists have suggested that work titles are like roles that are performed by actors in movies. The difference is that you interpret, direct, script and perform the role yourself. The challenge then is to perform the role as best as you can without attachment to it. Be open to new experience by changing and evolving your performance.

NORTH: ROLES Some organisational theories suggest that work titles are like roles performed by actors in movies. The difference is that we interpret, direct, script and perform the roles ourselves. QUESTIONS: What roles do we need to play this game really well? How can role-players work together to achieve the desired results? How can we ensure that the rules are enforced? How will we audit and manage the game?

TIP Engage the language and metaphor of play and experimentation in whatever you do. Some languages engage this concept in interesting ways: in high forms of Japanese, for example, every verb is preceded by saying ‘played at’. For example, I play at being the MD, I play at being an artist, I play at being a coach and I play at being a father and even my father is playing at being dead. Somehow the word play is a reminder that you are still learning, experimenting and growing in a light-hearted, open way. Remember, it isn’t just life and death, it is a game. Enjoy it!

Rituals (North East) A ritual refers to speech, action, singing, and other activities which often contain a symbolic meaning, performed in a specific order. In organisations, audits, year-end functions, teambuilding and weekly meetings are examples of typical rituals. A characteristic of ritual is that it has the quality of ‘collapsing time’ – a 15 minute presentation by the MD can encompass many years of the organisations’ history. Another characteristics of ritual is that they can be performed so regularly that they start to lose their meaning and many people ‘go through the motions’ without quite understanding what they are really doing and why. Be clear about the rituals you engage in and their outcomes. Are they really necessary? Could they be changed, simplified or even removed? What relationships exist between rituals and outcomes?

NORTH-EAST: RITUALS A ritual refers to speech, action, singing and other performances which contain symbolic meaning. Rituals provide a way for participants to step out of the game temporarily, let off steam, then rejoin the game with renewed energy and fresh perspective. QUESTIONS: What rituals do we need to make this game work really well and when do they happen? How is the game choreographed?

TIPS Be clear about what games you are engaged in, how much energy you expend in playing, what results you expect and why you are doing it. Develop leadership intent around a game – how would you like to see the game in the future? What needs to change to attain the positive outcomes?

More about game theory and traditional African Isivivane on www.isivivane.com

Place your stone upon the pile www.isivivane.com

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful