April 11, 2008
Week 1 reflections
Dinner with Dave Pollard and Viv McWaters was a highlight and I have captured parts of our conversations here. I just noticed that Dave too has “distilled” some of his conversations in Melbourne this week in this What works & What Doesn’t post. Dave has started to compile a list of questions that were repeated across his many and diverse conversations. His first question almost defines the purpose on this blog.
Q1. “What works and what doesn’t [i.e. what are the enablers and preconditions for success in bringing about organizational change: changes in environmental sustainability, social responsibility, innovation, adaptation, process changes, new technology introduction, personal effectiveness improvement etc.]?”
Dave goes onto identify some stuff that appears to be working (and not working) …
Dave … here’s what I saw ‘working’ this week?
Preconditions for enabling practice change (Context: Group of people attending a series of Sustainable Living at Home Workshops):
- When participants in a ‘change’ program are asked to make a contribution to the process (ie. their own thoughts/knowledge)
- When people are supported (by space and process) to get to know each other and find solutions together (usually playfully)
- When we focus on achieving simple, small steps first … even large scale change needs to start somewhere … and like in Improv “Just do something and start somewhere”
- When group conversations (often facilitated but not always) make concrete links between “the things we love” and the “impact” of action (or inaction)
- When group members “sense” that they are a part of a collective change process – the thing I often hear is “I’m not alone in this” … this helps to build the collective belief and readiness to take action
- When participants are provided the space and time to share change stories with each other … peer-peer stories appears to inspire more than expert-peer stories/information
- When participants (and the group) come together on multiple occasions.
- When the transitions between the “gathering/workshop” and the “Real World” are supported. Viv says it best, “So I’m going to look at facilitation more as a continuum than a single event – more of a hiccup in the everyday that may or may not be what’s needed by all or anybody. And I’m going to give more attention to transitions: how to enable whatever emerges from a facilitated event to be gradually aclimatised so that it has a greater chance of survival.”
- When the group has conversations about influencing others people in their own peer groups. The process should also support participants to “invite” others to join them in their journey/quest or whatever … when a group matures (typically by the 3rd or fourth session) these conversations seem to emerge more often
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