DYNAMIC FACILITATION: HOW IT’S BEING USED
Dynamic Facilitation is being used in businesses and organizations, by government agencies, by individuals, and in communities of all types to address issues creatively and collaboratively.
Businesses and organizations have used Dynamic Facilitation to involve employees in generating solutions and action that addresses complex issues, resolve conflict, create shared vision, improve performance and quality, and create a culture of shared leadership, creativity and collaboration.
Consider the following examples:
- A countywide coalition of community groups and public agencies dedicated to reducing gun violence held two “choice-creating” sessions where they discovered and articulated their mission and planned activities for the year.
- A military agency brought direct reports together with their supervisor in a Dynamically Facilitated meeting to bring closure to perceived abuses of power and discover how all parties could move forward in a mutually respectful way.
- A medium, US-based, telecommunications company trained an internal team of change agents in Dynamic Facilitation. They have been using the method to improve quality and performance throughout the entire company.
- A large, Swiss telecom company has begun an ongoing Wisdom Council process to evolve cultural change within the organization. Every couple of months a random selection of employees meet with a facilitator, identify big issues facing the company, and work on them. At the conclusion of their meeting, they share their unanimous perspectives to a company-wide audience who are then invited to dialogue about their views and move the topic forward. Change is happening creatively and from the bottom up.
Here are a few examples:
- A statewide department responsible for licensing brought together a microcosm of their organization to re-create their vision and mission statements. In a follow up retreat 6 months later, they checked in about how the statements were being lived out within the department and strategized how to embody it more fully throughout the organization.
- A statewide agency with oversight of agriculture organized an ongoing Wisdom Council process, where a randomly selected group of employees surfaced and came to a unanimous perspective on various big issues facing the organization. The process helped reduce the “silo” effect between various departments and provided a sense of continuity and employee ownership so that top leadership changes didn’t adversely affect the agency’s operations.
- A countywide parks and recreation department brought their citizen advisory board together for a day-long “choice-creating” session to overcome polarization on how to address budgetary issues facing the department. Next, the public was invited to 4 public meetings to explore the same issue. Their creative outcomes are being incorporated into the department’s strategic plan and the community feels a sense of ownership and commitment to support and implement the plan objectives.
Communities, like schools, neighborhoods, and cities, have applied Dynamic Facilitation and its large-scale applications to increase self-governance, build community, solve difficult issues, and transform democracy.
Some examples include:
- The State of Voralberg in Austria has been using Wisdom Councils and Creative Insight Councils to trump the special interest dominance of policy making and involve citizens identifying creative ways to address community issues, setting a vision, and articulating community values.
- A Seattle-based elementary school implemented a Wisdom Council process amongst parents, teachers, and administrators. For three years, they periodically, randomly-selected from this group and held a two-day Wisdom Council event followed by a community-wide meeting and presentations to school leadership groups. Results of the process were an ongoing source of new volunteer energy, improved relationships between parents and teachers, feedback for administrators about the kind of communication parents sought, and a new parent orientation manual.
- Wise Democracy Victoria is a group of citizens who came together for a weekend to learn about wise democracy processes, then they elected to convene a series of Wisdom Councils for the city over a two year timeframe. As the longest running, city-based Wisdom Council process, they have learned a lot about how to do the process successfully in a community. One of their randomly-selected participants was an 19 year old who went on to run for Mayor. Part of his platform included Wisdom Councils in every neighborhood! They also partnered with a candidate scorecard group so that candidates running for office were judged based on the values and outcomes articulated by the Wisdom Councils.