I am sitting in the corner of the room whilst a workshop makes it’s way to a close. These people represent the polarity of an organization – people in strategy, others at the edge working with community and others who cut across the 2. Their intent is to build strategy that has a clear purpose, is co-owned and provides a framework that is flexible enough to cope with the unexpected. In this line of work we are dealing with community and natural systems, so the unexpected will happen … Often!
They are building this strategy in both a top-down and bottom-up way. There’s also a bit of side to side integration happening here. At the beginning of the week, we (me as facilitator and the hosting team) entered this series of 6 workshops with a clear purpose. Workshop 1 was a real struggle because we had no idea how our suite of processes would work – they were untested prototypes. We struggled to articulate the purpose and in some ways, the clarity emerged from getting on with the task.
On day 2, the workshop ran much more smoothly and we changed loads of things. We also removed a lot of noise. There were less frowns and groans from the group but the task remained hard work … it was a stretch. Building a shared understand about the greedy and depth of their work takes dedication and listening.
My role has been to build the capacity of the hosting team to design processes and host conversations within their organization and with their community stakeholders. So, on day 3 I was absent … over to the hosting team to take the lead.
I walked in this morning and something had shifted. The hosting team suggested more changes based on their experience the day before. In fact, they thought of things that I had neglected in supporting the group. It is clear to me know, that my job here is done.