Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes complicated challenges have simple solutions

While change always involves some degree of individual adaptation, organizational change cannot be accomplished by a lone individual. Even the most visionary, influential, creative or powerful individual will need to effect change in others to transform an organization.

In most organizations, the change process will involve a series of conversations, and that is where things can often get complicated. Personal preferences, status differentials, organizational history and individual experiences all play a role in how such conversations unfold. Sometimes what is needed is a way to manage these influences in a manner that empowers individual participants and the group as a whole to support a productive conversation.

When resources allow, the stakes are high or the issues are complicated, a professional facilitator is often retained. But it is also likely that you may find yourself having to play the role of facilitator at some point. Here is an an interesting facilitation card set that Martin Proulx uses in challenging meetings to help maintain some control so that everyone can have a chance to contribute and meeting ground rules can be maintained. What a neat idea for creating agency for a more effective conversation in meeting participants!