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Learning through contrast

September 11, 2008

Watching someone else facilitate with an established method is always fascinating. Contrasts make you think. Cognitive Edge facilitation focuses on extending the problem definition phase for as long as possible, then creates structured interventions which are owned by one team through three or four iterations of testing using ritual dissent (the link will only work for registered practitioners). The idea is to prevent consensus and premature convergence. In contrast with that, over the last two days I participated in a different approach. A brainstorm narrowed to a set of proposals (determined by the facilitation team) which were then refined by groups the next day, and passed on as codified documents to the next. So the balance was to reduce the problem definition phase and instead focus on an extended process of product refinement by different groups. I plan to reflect a bit and then pick up my notes and blog on the differences and learnings. In particular the question of hands on and hands off facilitation.

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