Facilitator Journal | Issue #0154 | May 25, 2004 | 8,000 Subscribers...
I discovered the Spiral Dynamics model over a year ago and have been
eager to find ways to share it with you. In that I often "over-cogitate"
on these things, I've decided to role out some ideas and share them
with you in an open forum this Wednesday, hosted by my friends and fellow
coaches, Elderbob Brannan and Dwayne Cox. See details after the article
on how to tune in.
Though this week's article doesn't explicitly speak about Spiral Dynamics,
the insights that inspired it came from this model and discussions with
a couple of close friends. In "Processing
Paralysis," we talk about how the "process-oriented"
strengths of facilitators and those of "process-oriented"
participants can become weaknesses and hold us back. I realize this
article may be a bit controversial, and being a closet radical, part
of me hopes it is. So I welcome your comments, disagreements, or any
other thoughts you'd be willing to share on this topic or anything that
it might trigger for you. I look forward to hearing from you.
want to remind you that our next Micro-Skills Tele-Seminar is this Thursday,
at 4:00 PM EDT,
where we'll talk all about Dynamic Facilitation, a
process for coming to consensus on impossible problems, and possibly
a new approach to a truly participative democracy. Please see details
after the article.
any of you have any interesting stories or experiences about facilitation,
group process, work groups, team building, training, etc. that might interest
our readers, please email
them to us.
our strengths as facilitators get in our way?
Facilitators are keenly away of the need to help their groups embrace, enhance,
and invoke processes intended to help them get the results they want in
healthy ways. This attention to process is often what's missing in our task-oriented
culture. Therefore, many groups really benefit by looking at the processes
they use to get things done, to communicate with one another, to share information,
to manage their organizations, etc.
Facilitators, as process experts also know the importance of balancing process,
task, and relationships in their groups.
At times however, facilitators adept at working processes may get overly
enamored with their process focus. Further, there may be groups they are
working with, who by their nature, have a strong process focus themselves.
They may be environmentally conscious groups, groups into social service,
counseling-oriented, or involved in various forms of personal growth, who
have come to recognize the power of working through people processes. They
tend to embrace an egalitarian workview that is open to all viewpoints and
beleive that all individuals have something important to express at any
It's important to note here that a facilitator's process orientation can
go too far. If our focus becomes dominated by process at the expense of
task, we may end up with the flip side of the process-blindness problem
and contract a disdain for task.
Have you ever been in this type of group? It can feel very comfortable,
warm, and fuzzy for some. Downright maddening and frustrating for others.
What do we do about this type of condition? Do we really need to do anything?
Stuck in task-blindness,
we may insist that enough dialogue, enough healing, or enough processing,
will solve any problem. This is a fallacy. There will be people at times
that no one will benefit hearing from. There may be people in some groups
that simply cannot or will not respond to rational dialogue or process
diagnosis. There will be a point where all the healing in the world won't
move one forward. These may be times when direction or challenge is required
and consequences stated.
So what are some indications that you may be "over processing?"
Equal say for everyone and sensitive to everyone’s needs no matter
what value particular contributions have to the goals of the group.
A tendency to be attached to everyone being accepting and egalitarian.
An inordinate emphasis on process and little mention of task.
A tendency for meetings to drag on, and while being civil, they tend to
yield few tangible results.
A reluctance to push for closure or into action until full consensus is
Difficulty or refusal to prioritize values, resulting in reluctance to
make value judgments around ideas, strategies, or actions.
An inordinate concern about hurting anyone or leaving anyone out of a
decision-making or problem-solving process.
The list above is by no means exhaustive. Please let us
know if you see others and share any experiences you have with these
types of groups. We'd also love to hear from you if you find yourself
paralyzed by process.
Are you over-processing in your groups? If you exhibit any of the warning
signs above, please consider a self-intervention. Please email
us your thoughts or experiences on this.
Facilitation Expert Series
Consensus on Impossible Problems--Tools for a New Cooperacy"
featuring Jim Rough,
Speaker, Seminar Leader and Author
Attend this one-hour tele-seminar on
Thursday, May 27th at 4:00 PM EDT (NY Time) with Jim Rough
and Steve Davis. During
this tele-seminar, you'll receive an introduction to Dynamic Facilitation
from its developer.
This is an
energy-based way of facilitating where people address difficult issues creatively
and collaboratively, achieving breakthrough results.
Some of the points we'll discuss are...
"Just in Time" Learning
this one-hour tele-seminar with Jim Rough
Davis, Thursday, May 27th at 4:00
PM EDT (NY Time). Some of the points we'll discuss are...
What is Dynamic Facilitation and how can it help groups achieve breakthrough
concept and it's relevance to problem-solving.
What makes Dynamic
Facilitation different from other facilitative models.
What kind of issues
best lend themselves to this approach.
What are the requisite
conditions necessary to tap collective consciousness.
Ideas on how a Wisdom
Council might shift the United States into a more democratic form of government.
How other facilitators
make use of this approach.
And, answers to any questions you bring to the teleclass.
Crises and Teams to "Turn On" a System."
From the Journal for Quality and Participation. Read how Jim
has helped groups use crisis to tap their full potential for solving difficult
2. "Levels of Thinking Models of Change."
Article looking at the levels of
thinking and our typical approach to solving problems at each level.
3. The Founding of True Democracy.
Chapter 2 from Jim's book, "Society's Breakthrough," which discusses
a new model for a democracy based on shared decision-making.
4. Video on the Rogue Valley Wisdom Council
conducted by The Center for Wise Democratic Processes".
This 22-minute video highlights a group of citizens in the Rogue
Valley of Oregon conducting a successful experiment in democratic process
using dynamic facilitation.
About Jim. Jim Rough is
the originator and principal seminar leader for Dynamic Facilitation Skills.
He's been leading public seminars and evolving the concepts of Dynamic
Facilitation and Choice-creating since 1990. Jim is the author of the
new book (2002) Society's Breakthrough! Releasing Essential Wisdom and
Virtue in All the People. The book describes how these ideas promise new
solutions to many long-standing problems, and how they offer the opportunity
to revitalize democracy. See details at www.SocietysBreakthrough.com.
Since 1980, Jim has
been a faculty member at the annual Creative Problem Solving Institute
in Buffalo, N.Y. He has spoken at many conferences, published numerous
articles and is working on a new book about Dynamic Facilitation. Before
founding Jim Rough and Associates, Inc. in 1985, Jim worked as an internal
consultant within Boeing, Xerox, and Simpson Timber Company. His education
includes a B.A. in physics from Occidental College, M.S. and M.B.A. degrees
from Columbia University, and many years of independent study in Jungian
psychology. He lives with his wife in the state of Washington in the United
for details about this interview, the bonuses, and registration.
: A Novel That Will Set You Free! by Ken Wilber
This book offers a layman's account of Spiral Dynamics, focusing particularly
on the narcissistic aspect of the Green meme. I feel that this book may
be of particular interest to facilitators, who first, tend to be students
of personal growth and maps of consciousness, and second, who are usually
at the Green meme level. This book offers the prospect that millions of
Baby-Boomers and their offspring are poised to make the leap into a higher
level of consciousness that my be necessary for our survival. Its ideas
may enlighten Boomers stuck in the "Mean Green Meme" offering
them a roadmap to a more empowered future.
End of Transformation, Dialogue, and Healing...
Spiral Dynamics: A Roadmap for Evolution
Meta-Insights for Facilitators
Join us for this Free one-hour teleclass this Wednesday, May
26th at 6:00 PM EDT (NY Time). With Steve Davis, Publisher of
the Master Facilitator Journal and Founder of FacilitatorU.com
What is this?
Exposure to the Spiral Dynamics Model about one year ago has significantly
changed the way I view the world. You could say that its even changed
my life. Learning this map of human consciousness evolution, with
its corresponding value packages, and world views has helped me free
up a good deal of judgment, even a sense of hopelessness at times,
about what's going on in the world and where we're headed.
Quick introduction to the Spiral Dynamics model.
Understand how human consciousness and world views adhere to a predictable
path of development.
Understand this path and where you fit to help you identify your growing
What is second tier consciousness and why our leap to this level is
essential to our survival.
Discussion on evolving to the second tier and helping others do the
Learn ways of identifying the attributes and world views of different
levels of consciousness.
Recognize the need to facilitate environments required by each level.
Understand the relationship between Personal Evolution and Spiral
Discussion of the qualities of a Second-Tier Facilitator/Coach.
When and Where?
Come join me this Wednesday, May 26th at 6:00 PM EDT to discuss this
model and its implications to facilitators, coaches, change agents
and all thinking human beings. It's hosted by Elderbob Brannan and
the CoachVille Global Coaching Group, who have invited me to speak
on this topic. Just dial 646-519-5868 pin#1845 to join us.
them to us and we'll respond promptly. Hope to see you there!