The Fundamentals of Collaboration by Design: Optimising and Capturing Results


This 3-day course begins with the one-day Core Module: Collaboration by Design. Those who have already taken this module will join 24-25 January to explore:

  • Capturing Outputs from Workshops, Meetings and Processes
  • Contracting with Groups: Clarifying My Role (and that of an External Facilitator when relevant) 
  • Synthesizing and Summarizing: Who, What, When, Why, How?
  • Capturing Feedback and Learning Throughout Processes

________________

23 JANUARY: THE CORE MODULE

Does your work involve convening people for purposeful collaboration? Would you like to more effectively and efficiently achieve the desired outcomes from processes involving groups of people working together? Do these outcomes include the required outputs, as well as inter-institutional and inter-personal relationships important for the future? 

As the foundation of the Bright Green Learning Academy, this core module will help you strengthen your skills and competencies to better design and run collaborative processes, workshops and meetings. It will explore the key competencies expected of a collaborative process manager throughout all stages of the process.  You will identify your personal behavioural preferences and the impact they have on you as a process facilitator.  You will generate personalized strategies for further strengthening your facilitation practice.  Using a methodology tried, tested and continuously improved, you will learn what process facilitation is and what it is not; its role and value.  And you will learn the difference between facilitation and moderation; between facilitator and moderator. You will practice collaborative process facilitation – from agenda and activity design, to in-session small group work.  Additionally you will receive feedback from your peers and trainers, advising on your strengths and providing suggestions for improvement. Your assumptions about what is possible in a given context may well be challenged!

Whether interacting with internal teams or groups of external experts, you will use what you learn everyday in your job.  Not only will you have increased skills and confidence when officially ‘facilitating’; you will also find value in informal contexts as you become increasingly aware of the importance of generating both required outputs and relationships for future success, and of how to achieve this.

Before the one-day module there is some light pre-course reading and short preparatory exercises. Then during our day together we use many interactive collaboration and facilitation methodologies, ensuring the learning experience is highly interactive, experiential and reflective.  As active participants, we will tap into your expertise and that of your peers, complementing this with that of the module trainers, from years of practice in many diverse contexts.

Applying what you have learned, you will more effectively and efficiently achieve desired outcomes from processes involving groups of people working together.  And you will be more self-aware and able to use this to your own advantage as well as that of the teams, groups and organizations with which you work.

24-25 JANUARY:

CAPTURING OUTPUTS FROM WORKSHOPS, MEETINGS AND PROCESSES

Have you been a part of processes in which, only at a late stage, people start thinking about how to capture the outputs (and indeed identifying what these might be)?  Or perhaps outputs have been diligently captured at the outset but there hasn’t been sufficient thought given to the purpose of collecting the outputs: Who are the outputs being captured for? What is it hoped they will do with the outputs? And how can the capturing process and the ‘product’ help them do so? 

There are many questions for us to ask ourselves about what outputs are sought, and how to capture them.  This module will provide you with a framework for ensuring you design for the purposeful capture of quality outputs.

CONTRACTING WITH GROUPS: CLARIFYING MY ROLE (AND THAT OF AN EXTERNAL FACILITATOR WHEN RELEVANT)

Would you appreciate greater clarity about your role in a process?  Are you trying to balance bringing your subject matter expertise to a process, whilst also wearing a ‘facilitator’ or ‘convenor’ hat? Or perhaps you have little subject matter expertise and could do with some guidance to help build your stature and the confidence of others in you as a process leader or facilitator? 

This module will help you with all of the above.  It will provide you with all you need to contract (agreeing what you will do and will not do) efficiently and effectively with groups. And you will acquire strategies to ensure you bring all of your expertise to the collaborative process, appropriately!

SYNTHESIZING AND SUMMARIZING: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, HOW?

As the process leader, convener or facilitator, when should you summarize and synthesize discussion for a group?  When should the group do the summarizing and synthesizing itself?  And what process design decisions can support summarizing and synthesizing for whoever takes on the task?  

There are different views on these questions.  We feel that those responsible for guiding processes should steer clear from summarizing subject matter and content discussions, sticking rather to summarizing progress in the process towards achieving desired outcomes. If you’d like to explore the reasoning and benefits from this, and learn more about how to design to facilitate summarizing and synthesizing, this is a module for you.

CAPTURING FEEDBACK AND LEARNING THROUGHOUT PROCESSES

So, what are the lessons learned? How have we done against our desired outcomes (both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ ones)? These questions are often left to the end of a collaborative process, at which time much of the detail will already have been lost, and opportunities to course-correct will already have been missed. 

This module will help you design the capture of feedback and learning into the whole of the collaborative process, from conception to conclusion.  It provides you with a framework for thinking through what you want to capture, how you will capture it, how you will use what you have captured to inform the collaborative process going forward, and what you will do with it so that others can learn from your collaborative process in the future.

This 3 day course is 6 learning units (4 if you've already taken the core module).