Processes I Use
Just as an artist uses a variety of different brushes, paints, canvasses and more, I use a number of different group dialogue methods in my work designing and facilitating participatory conversations.
I find inspiration for conversation design in many different realms such as The Art of Hosting, Theory U, Applied Improv, Cognitive-Edge, Business Model Generation, graphic facilitation and more. And as a process artist I select one or two methods or creatively combine different methods depending on the need, purposes and principles of your gathering.
Here are some of the core processes I use:
The Art of Hosting is a highly effective way of harnessing the collective wisdom and self-organizing capacity of groups of any size. It blends a suite of powerful conversational processes to invite people to step in and take charge of the challenges facing them, and focuses on convening strategic conversations as a driver for development and change.
An ancient form of meeting that gathers us into respectful communication. Creates space for sharing story, inviting diverse thinking, encouraging creative problem solving and supports hearing every voice in collaborative decision making. It is very adaptable to a variety of groups, issues and timeframes.
Used to discover strengths and assets and how we might use them to achieve our future. Can help move a group that is stuck in “what is” toward “what could be”, and explore possibilities from a fresh, positive vantage point. Based on the notion that teams, organizations, and communities grow and change in the direction of what they study.
Used to foster interaction and dialogue with both large and small groups. Particularly effective in surfacing the collective wisdom of large groups of diverse people. Very flexible and adapts to many different purposes such as information sharing, relationship building, deep reflection exploration and action planning.
For organizing work and getting people to take responsibility for what they love. Fastest way to get people working on what matters. Useful in many contexts, including strategic direction-setting, envisioning the future, conflict resolution, morale building, consultation with stakeholders, community planning, collaboration and deep learning about issues and perspectives.
A collective, innovative methodology for hosting conversations about calls, questions and projects that matter to the people that attend. It can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of good work. Provides space for creative and action oriented conversation.
Enables us to deeply connect with and learn from the experience in our community, team or organization. This storytelling process builds our capacity for targeting listening and group learning while offering a gift to the story holders as well as the group. Group harvesting is an ideal way to surface the many insights in our stories and to take learning to a deeper level.
Harvesting and Graphic Recording
Harvesting includes making meaning of our work, telling the story and feeding forward our results so that they have the desired impacts. Can be tangible artefacts such as reports, photos, videos, graphic recording, etc. and also intangibles such as togetherness, clarity, relationships, sense of renewal, etc.