As if the modalities in the last post were not enough!
Another form of practice that I keep my eye on is Dynamic Facilitation. This is another mode that is not radically different from Moreno, but takes one aspect forward. How to operationalise small group process to work with whole communities using the principle of isomorphism of systems.
I stumbled on this site today, I recall Rosa Zubizarreta as the author of an excellent manual on Dynamic Facilitation — her site looks good, and maybe I’ll do one of her workshops one day. Or one with Jim Rough.
My recent post: Can we Survive? is a draft for an item in a psychodrama publication. In that post I link Wisdom Councils and – Creative Insight Councils to the Sociometric methods of J.L. Moreno. The main idea is that there is a lager community and the small group resonates with the larger group in isomoprhic harmony, and can thus give back compelling insights and wisdom.
In this post I want to add a related idea.
From Dynamic Facilitation and the Wisdom Council theory I have got it clear that a small group can achieve something in addition to personal therapy for its members, and assist an organisation or community in developing its life, and in its decision making.
Jim Rough calls it “option creating”, I am not yet sure exactly what he means by this but it is not just a list of possibilities or wild ideas from a brainstorming session. The breakthrough in a group happens when there is an insight into a real option – something the whole group would like to see happen.
Such breakthroughs are possible over the longer time frame of a group, of diverse members, meeting for several days and sharing at a deep level. Traditional meetings can’t achieve this depth.
For a group to be of use to a larger community there needs to be a thorough warm-up before the event as to the purpose and context. While in psychodrama we are aware of the importance of the frame, I have not experienced a group in that tradition that has the focus of leading to outcomes for the whole community. In our organisations we tend to make decision in meetings, and while there is plenty of interaction and depth work, it is not specifically an clearly focussed on future actions. There may be specialist sub-committees, or work groups, but they tend to be by the people with special positions an ongoing positions within the organisation.
Imagine randomly selected diverse small group – from an organisation or community – doing depth work groups with the task of one or two of the following topics:
What is our strategic plan?
What is our vision?
Principles for the Constitution.
Who should be a member?
The group would present its findings to all members of the community or larger organisation and its governing in one a4 document, and 20 minute audio file at a special hui for the occasion.
This was very good to see. 2003, already a bit dated, a bit “American”, but it brings out some of the potential inherent in the Dynamic Facilitation process. Worth downloading the crappy Real player to watch if you are interested in Wisdom Councils.
The importance of this process does not shine through as strongly as I envisage it. It important to notice that a group that meets for a weekend is a microcosm of a larger community, and they bring back their “breakthrough” to the community, and notice how well it goes down. They were able to mirror the community concerns accurately.
Where else can you see this?
Society’s Breakthrough! – Audio & Video:
1) Democracy in America — VIDEO (22 min)—In November 2003 three people from the Rogue Valley in Oregon heard Jim give a radio interview on their local NPR radio show, The Jefferson Exchange. After contacting Jim, they decided to meet one another and to try an experiment with the Wisdom Council. Joseph McCormick, a former conservative Republican politician, filmed the event and created this 22 minute documentary, Democracy in America, which is available as a streaming video.
Classical science is a subset of quantum science
PowerPoint by Jim Rough.
I love the way my various enthusiasms come together.
I am delighted to bring this audio here. Please download and listen!
Creative Insight Council April 2009 Austria
It is a podcast about Dynamic Facilitation and the success of A Creative Insight Council (close to a Wisdom Council) in a city in Austria.
This does not really explain what Dynamic Facilitation is, or the principles of an CIC, or Wisdom Council. It is a process developed in the USA by Jim Rough. See my earlier blog post.
I hope this audio will motivate you to explore that.
If you are familiar with Psychodrama, I can say this: it is a highly sociometric process with strong facilitation from a neutral facilitator. The group of 12 or so is created by lottery in the whole population of the city or country! Such is the nature of systems, there is isomorphy (self similarity) from the microcosm to the macrocosm and the group, if well publicised, is the protagonist group for the whole community. A microcosm CAN experience the deep heart-felt transformation of a small group process and give back its wisdom to the whole, who are likely to be receptive as the group was made up of a diverse, non-expert group.
For people familiar with Imago Relationship Therapy, this is a process of facilitation that used a dialogue process. Not so much *between* the participants who do not need to learn how to send or receive, but through the facilitator.
One difference between DF, Dynamic Facilitation and the two process I mention above, Psychodrama and Imago, is that the facilitation works towards solution statements.
Note that these councils do not seek any formal power, nor will they meet again after the council is over.
I am really inspired. I have always had a hunch that the small group process which has been so powerful in my life would change the world but I could never quite see how. Now I get it! Fantastic.
The website for Jim Rough’s work is here: www.tobe.net
The article that follows I found the text file here:
Thought it would be easier to see in a blog post. Entire article follows. All the steps they look great!!
Continue reading “Dynamic Facilitation: Steps and Stages”