Wikipedia defines facilitation as “any activity which makes easy the tasks of others.”
In organisational settings, this involves the designing and running of collaborative processes and meetings, often involving members of the community or other stakeholders. These meetings sometimes involve contentious or ‘sensitive’ issues and our task is to ensure that all points of view are tabled, heard and responded to. To say that we are experienced is an understatement – as at the middle of April 2017, Jen had facilitated (and mostly designed) a whopping 911 workshops involving all sectors of government and community.
Kismet Forward delivers effective workshop facilitation by:
- Designing workshops that have high levels of energy, creativity and participation.
- Continually improving a facilitation style that is responsive to the needs of all participants.
- Understanding the environment in which your organisation operates.
- Focusing on solutions and a way forward, rather than dwelling on problems.
- Ensuring that workshop participants leave with the feeling that their time was productively and enjoyably spent.
- Writing succinct reports after workshops that accurately and independently reflect what took place.
We also like Wikipedia’s description of ecological facilitation, which is about how one organism profits from the presence of another.
Your organisation can indeed profit by incorporating the Kismet Forward approach to working with your communities and stakeholders.
Kismet Forward facilitate workshops across many themes, including:
- Strategic planning
- Business planning
- Program and project logic
- Team building
- Integration and collaboration
- Change management
- Conference facilitation
What makes good community engagement?
Effective community engagement goes a step further from Workshop Facilitation, by taking time to recruit a diverse slice of the population (not just the people who always have a say) and to ensure that all participants understand the issues before providing input.
Effective community engagement provides real opportunities for community groups and individuals to discuss their hopes, issues and aspirations – and be heard.
For instance, Kismet Forward chairs a number of community-based committees to work through complex, ongoing issues of great concern to local people.
Examples include the Brooklyn Community Representative Group, the Tullamarine Landfill Community Consultation Group, Drysdale Landfill Community Consultation Group, Alcoa Anglesea Power Station Community Consultation Network and North East Truck Curfew Community Reference Group.
In the last few years Jen also assisted the establishment of the Mallee Fire Advisory Group, Melbourne Regional Landfill Community Consultation Group and a revised Stawell Gold Mines Environment Review Committee format. She facilitated each of these groups for 12 months during their establishment/transition.
All organisations are under increasing pressure to lift their productivity, expand their influence, meet new challenges and be proactive about future demands.
Kismet Forward can help you to bridge the gap between what is expected and what is possible, with unique skills, experience and extensive networks across a variety of sectors including natural resource management, planning, health and welfare.
We can assist you in a variety of ways – from managing projects and writing strategies through to helping you to develop solutions to complex strategic problems.
We can undertake consultation or engagement activities, incorporating the results of these important processes into comprehensive, professionally written and well-researched reports.
Kismet Forward can assist you to measure the success, impact and effectiveness of your projects from the design of evaluation plans through to comprehensive project evaluation.
Kismet Forward can develop a program logic for your projects so as to effectively link desired outcomes and outputs with intended actions. Whether your program theory will be people-centred, bottom-up or problems orientated, we can design a theory of change that will meet your strategic and evaluation needs.
An important service provided by Kismet Forward is in assisting people to develop and meet personal goals while maximising their potential to contribute to the achievement of organisational targets.
In today’s workplace people have less time and energy to pay attention to the ‘human’ side of their business – including nurturing staff, communicating with stakeholders and engaging with the community – even though the expectations of staff, stakeholders and the community have grown exponentially in this regard.
We can help your organisation to progress its people and reconnect with the community – either through executive, team or community workshops or through coaching emerging leaders in a one-on-one program.
Jen Lilburn is a trained Conflict Management Coach, using the powerful CINERGY™ model. Jen works with individuals to help them discover what led to the conflict and what they will do about it.
Our Coaching for Proactive Leadership program assists participants to take responsibility for achieving their leadership potential by:
- Developing a vision about their future
- Developing self-awareness, including understanding the core values that drive them
- Developing skills that are centered around their core values and principles
- Understanding the perceptions of others and how these perceptions have been developed, and then making decisions about what they can do to …. adjust these perceptions if appropriate
- Understanding the impact that they have on their colleagues and stakeholders
- Using initiative and being responsible for the manner in which they respond to unexpected or unwanted circumstances
This is achieved through 10 x 2-hour one-on-one sessions over the course of one year. The program structure enables participants to explore and practice new behaviours and ways of operating, and discuss various issues and opportunities that arise throughout the year. The program outcomes from this structure have been found to be far more effective and enduring than the standard training model whereby participants attend a workshop, get excited about new ways of operating, but invariably revert to old patterns once they return to work.
Coaching for Proactive Leadership draws upon a combination of Jen’s experience and extensive research into contemporary leadership theory. Discussions and topics covered are very much targeted at the needs and goals of individual participants.
Alternatively, some clients seek a less structured approach to coaching, in which we address current opportunities and challenges as they arise through a series of one-off sessions. We have tailor-made training sessions in risk communication, facilitation skills, strategic/action planning and recruiting members for community groups, to name a few.