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Facilitation

 

Change efforts today are guided and shaped by lessons learned over the past 30 or 40 years of trial and error in planned organisation change. Judging from the practices in most organisations today, three lessons in particular seem to have been learned:

  1. Participation is important
  2. Teams generally perform better than individuals
  3. Process (how something is done) affects outcome (what is accomplished)

Many organisations today now work in groups and teams.  They employ more team-based structures (both temporary and permanent); and they focus more keenly on the design of change processes.

People work in groups for a number of reasons:

  • Coordinate interdependent work
  • Share information
  • Make Decisions
  • Solve problems
  • Integrate multi-functional or multi-disciplined expertise
  • Plan for something

With the increased use of groups, there has been an enormous growth in the need for facilitative help.

 

The facilitation role is separated from the participant and leadership roles for an important reason: facilitation involves managing group processes and dynamics - influencing how members work together - and the nature of that responsibility calls for a high degree of neutrality about content issues and a focus on group needs. Participation and leadership require quite the opposite: an active engagement in content issues (e.g., expressing opinions, presenting arguments) and a focus on matters of the moment.

Team leaders often call on a capable facilitator to help the team achieve what it needs to achieve. At matrix vision we provide expert facilitation for all business needs.

The Importance of Using a Facilitator:

  • The use of groups and teams is increasingly used in business strategies and change efforts. Now we have to enable groups to succeed. As more and more work is done in a variety of team settings, the cost of ineffective group work soars.
  • People working in groups have common, even natural problems to overcome.  Everyone has experienced problems such as drifting focus, misunderstood communications, uneven participation, conflict, struggles for power and control, difficulties reaching consensus, and frustrations with obtaining commitment to follow-up action.
  • Facilitation focuses on the design and management of processes that enable groups to succeed in their missions. Facilitation helps ensure that
    • the right resources are in hand and are being used
    • useful information is generated, shared, and used
    • quality decisions are made
    • quality decisions are implemented
    • desired outcomes are realised

Some recent assignments include:

  • Assisting a management team to develop a business plan.
  • Helping a group of EH&S change champions develop a process to improve safety performance.
  • Guiding various teams through processes to develop team agreements.
  • Working with a cross-functional team to develop a car of the future.
  • Managing the process to help a cross-functional group of Senior Managers build the future of their department.

 

 

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