Process of Systems Facilitation
Groups which are really cooking–generating lots of ideas and making lots of progress–are remarkably similar. A set of benchmarks or indicators grow stronger and stronger if the group is on the right track. Successful facilitators look for these indicators and try to encourage them. As shown in the graphic above: the key indicators are:
1. an open stance to new ideas.
This is much more than having an open mind. Group members are able to hold two conflicting ideas at the same time and see the value in both.
2. systems thinking
Group members no longer think in linear cause-effect relationships. Rather, feedback, multiple causation, interconnectedness and synchronicity guide attribution of cause.
3. Common assumptions
The group adopts a common set of assumptions or values. The skills needed to help the group do this will also evoke integration and synthesis in the group (see 5 below).
4. Adopt an outcome- rather than a problem-orientation
The group focuses on the goals they plan to achieve rather than transient problems which are often epiphenomena.
5. Integrators emerge
Groups which are really cooking change at least part of their leadership. A leadership emerges which is innovative and able to integrate conflicting ideas and synthesize new approaches from seeminly contradictory perspectives.
6. Path synthesis
The final indicator that a group is cooking is that it generates new paths and proceeds along those paths to new solutions, new achievements.
The best groups continue improving in all aspects of this cycle.
The quickest way to develop skills in systems facilitation is to find someone who is successful in helping groups create new systems and learn from them. Good luck and contact us if you like.