techniques

On the spot, in the room

On the spot, in the room

Any fool can design a workshop. What really tests you is having to redesign it part-way through.

You’ve done a great plan, and prepared your materials.  You know how you’d like the space laid out, and your workshop will take the group on a journey towards a convergent, satisfying conclusion.

And then it all goes horribly wrong.  Nasty surprises throw your plans into disarray.  You need to redesign and you need to do it NOW!

Celebrate your achievements!

Celebrate your achievements!

One of the lovely things that we did at She is Still Sustainable last month, was to build a wonderwall of our achievements.  And wow! What a lot we have achieved.

Some were very personal – surviving divorce, arranging funerals, raising children.... 

Some had enormous reach – training 100s of facilitators, systems change programme with Sierra Leone Ministry of Health to improve community health,  part of a team delivering a sustainable London 2012...

Carousel in action

A description of carousel technique in action plus a free download on how to run one yourself.

Decisions? Decisions!

This blog post pulls together some resources that I shared at a workshop last week, for people in community organisations wanting to make clear decisions that stick. Groups of volunteers can't be 'managed' in the same that a team in an organisation is managed: consensus and willingness to agree in order to move forward are more precious.  Sometimes, however, that means that decisions aren't clear or don't 'stick' - people come away with different understandings of the decision, or don't think a 'real' decision has been made (just a recommendation, or a nice conversation without a conclusion).  And so it's hard to move things forward.

I flagged up a number of resources that I think groups like this will find useful:

  • Descriptive agendas - that give people a much clearer idea of what to expect from a meeting;
  • Using decision / action grids to record the outputs from a meeting unambiguously;
  • Be clear about the decision-making method (e.g. will it be by consensus, by some voting and majority margin, or one person making the decision following consultation?) and criteria.
  • Understanding who needs to be involved in the run-up to a decision.
  • Taking time to explore options and their pros and cons before asking people to plump for a 'position'.