What works?

Posted by  admin —April 11, 2008
Filed in How Stuff Spreads & Changes

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

And now some very relevant cartoons by my favorite cartoonist (Simon Kneebone) to finish off this post (Source: Castlemaine500 Project) …

Tackling Climate Change

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