We hear the term “facilitation” a lot. But what does it mean?
Facilitation is about working with a group of people to meet a specific goal. Perhaps you are educating them in a meeting or helping two sides to communicate. Whatever the case may be, you are acting as a guiding hand to help others accomplish what needs done.
I have been involved in a variety of facilitation activities within my role at The Ohio State University. This includes working with student groups, faculty groups or senior academic leaders. Recently, we have been using a strategy discipline known as Strategic Doing™. This is a new strategy discipline – a set of simple rules – that creates deep collaborations and builds innovation in today’s network-based organizations. Unlike strategic planning, which primarily guides activity in hierarchical organizations, Strategic Doing partnerships build trust through social networks.
This method is an alternative or supplement to traditional strategic planning whereby groups link and leverage assets they are willing to share. Each group then learns how to combine these assets in new and unique ways to solve unique and complex problems. We are also highly process focused; emphasizing accountability and project management.
Strategic doing requires a lot of communication, attention to detail and the ability to work with others. On top of that, it also necessitates being able to help people fully understand one another and facilitate communication between them.
This new framework is ideal for situations in which nobody can tell anybody else what to do, a common challenge in today’s horizontal teams. The right pieces are all there; it’s about working with people to put those pieces in the right combination. Strategic Doing was developed by Ed Morrison of the Purdue Agile Strategy Lab and is now offered through a national network of universities. More information is available at strategicdoing.net.
Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.
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