I’ve just started working with an arts learning and leadership network. We’re leading them through a highly participatory visioning and strategic planning process. This project is particularly unique because we have very ambitious goals for the process, but we’re planning on being extremely light touch as facilitators and consultants. In particular, the process will center around self-organized, meaningful conversations. We expect most of the meetings to be self-organized by stakeholders, and we won’t be at most of them. In other […]
The Facilitator’s Dilemma
I really loved Rebecca’s post on what she learned from facilitating our strategic planning process this past Fall. I want to riff on a point she made about the facilitator’s dilemma of sticking with the schedule versus letting conversations happen. Rebecca wrote: I sometimes got visibly anxious when one of our three-hour sessions was clearly not going to result in the outcome I’d designed towards. In one particularly tense moment, Eugene turned to me and said “Rebecca, I know we are not […]
Do Women Make Groups Smarter?
A few weeks ago, I got a chance to catch up with my friend, Stephanie McAuliffe, who heads up the Organizational Effectiveness program at the Packard Foundation. We were discussing the challenges of collaboration in philanthropy, and she told me an anecdote about some particularly hard-headed individuals who didn’t want to listen to anybody. Stephanie happened to note that those individuals were men. “I’m not trying to make a generalization,” she laughed. “Not to worry,” I assured her. “And anyway, it may […]