What is a “Creative Insight Council”(CIC) ?

A Creative Insight Council is a form of the Wisdom Council which helps organizations to involve its members, either employees or citizens, in creating shared vision and solving issues. With the CIC the topic is selected ahead of time. Also the process only lasts until the issue is addressed. It is not ongoing like with the WC process, not a structural change.

What does a “Creative Insight Council” look like?

In a Creative Insight Council, a diverse microcosm of the community comes together to creatively explore some difficult issue, with each person contributing their own perspective to the larger whole. The CIC can be composed of a purely random sample, a stratified random sample, or people chosen intentionally to reflect the broad diversity of the larger community. It can be sponsored by a non-profit organization, a coalition of community groups, or a local government agency. The CIC presents its unified conclusions to the whole organization, in a way that the organization can talk.

How does a “Creative Insight Council” work?

Key to the process is the use of Dynamic Facilitation, designed to tap the power of diverse perspectives and heart-felt passion, develop a systemic appreciation of the issue, and generate a profound sense of shared purpose. The outcome often includes a reframing of the original topic, as well as breakthrough possibilities for action. Afterward, the Council shares the story of their journey with the larger community. Two basic types of Creative Insight Council (CIC) are:
Advisory: where the microcosm reports back to the leaders or organizers of the community.
e.g. One defense contractor used the CIC over a period of years to build a spirit of involvement among employees on specific issues. The CIC reported first to management and then to the larger community.
Community: where the microcosm reports back to the community members.
e.g. One community in Europe used the CIC to address the replacement of the town swimming pool. In the end the CIC reported that the real need was just to have the pool, that it didn't need to be very big. So it fit the town budget.

What makes a Creative Insight Council unique?

The key ingredient in the CIC is choice-creating. Unlike a jury, for instance, this allows people to address an ill-defined topic, to reframe the issue and yet to reach unity. Furthermore, it provides a way to involve other community members through the story of group progress. In the CIC can draw upon the specialized knowledge of experts, stakeholders or leaders, yet build a more systemic understanding of the issue. Again this is because of choice-creating and how random citizens can more easily achieve choice-creating than can elected representatives, who generally remain in their roles.

How is a Creative Insight Council different from a Wisdom Council?

Creative Insight Councils are similar to Wisdom Councils in that they both use Dynamic Facilitation with a microcosm of people to address key issues and bring back shared creative understandings. However, the Creative Insight Council comes together to work on a specific topic for a limited amount of time, while Wisdom Councils are part of a larger, recurring process and select their own issues to work on. These two processes are complementary: for example a Wisdom Council could identify a particular issue that requires more study and propose that a Creative Insight Council be convened to explore that issue in more depth.

Learn more about this process by:
  • Reading an article on it entitled, “How Citizen Participation Can Solve Impossible Problems”
  • Listening to a 60-minute conference call featuring Dr. Manfred Hellrigl sharing his experiences with the Creative Insight Council to address community issues in Austria
  • Contacting us at info@DynamicFacilitation.com or (360) 385-7118