Introduction to Process Design and Facilitation (Parts 1,2)

Part IWhat do I need to know before I design or facilitate (about myself and what’s going on around me)?”

This workshop introduced some of the key ideas and approaches of a Process Consultation framework, which I can apply to my teaching, facilitation, or professional practice.

(Learning Objectives, from the advertisement) By the end of the workshop, successful learners will be able to:

  • Explain what “process” is and begin to notice how it appears and affects your environment
  • Begin to use information about context and process to understand and effectively influence those situations
  • Appreciate the way that an intentionally designed process can help achieve goals

Main take-aways (Workshop 1 Notes in PDF):This workshop was an opportunity to consider how our prior knowledge and experiences influences what we observe and, therefore, affects how we interpret a situation. When people are looking at a situation from different perspectives, there may be a “framework mismatch”. Therefore, in any process, we need to carefully consider the beliefs, assumptions and processes operating in the background.

We did a useful activity in which ‘the client’ talked about an issue (in my case it was about the work with the Fac Dev Working Group) and the consultant asked questions (did NOT jump to solutions–this was about getting context and establishing empathy). The consultant made a mental list of the top things that stood out and why; later, the consultant had a conversation centered around “these are the perspectives and questions I want to share to help my client understand/resolve their concerns”

Part II: “How do I design a process based on the discoveries I’ve made?”

This workshop provided an experiential guide to designing processes for professional, teaching, and learning contexts, informed by your own specialized knowledge and understanding of how people work.

(From the advertisement) By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • Answer the questions: “what is design?” and “what is design thinking?”
  • Design a process for their particular context (e.g., a meeting, workshop, event, learning experience, culture change, etc.)

Main take-aways (Workshop 2 Notes in PDF): In this workshop, we continued to work in the process design piece. We used the image of an iceberg to consider things that were more obvious and all the other less obvious factors in a situation (again, I was working with the FDWG issue).  We were asked first to visualize the ideal, then to consider why there was a gap between what is and what could be.  We looked at the mental models that might interfere with goal achievement and talked about the “secondary processes” that operate along with the primary process.  At the end, we used a design template to help articulate the broad goal/the objectives and the activities that can support these objectives (we also considered what is the cost of meeting the objectives).

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