The Problem: Many Perspective, Few Voices

Large formal meetings are often dominated by a few key voices with many people unwilling to contribute. Yet large gatherings of people are necessary for changing large organisations, so how can you harness the collective wisdom and enthusiasm of many people and allow them to genuinely think and explore ideas informally?  

 

The Solution: World Café

The World Café process is designed to encourage relaxed, informal yet purposeful conversations to take place in small café style grouping of six or so people who regularly move around between tables. Useful in many contexts to reduce the intimidating effects of speaking up in large groups, it excels when the objective is to have discursive and exploratory conversations.

 

WORLD CAFE recreates the atmosphere of a creative lunch in a relaxed setting by seating people around tables, without managed facilitation, and allowing them go where their ideas take them - and to write them down on the tablecloth as they occur.  This allows all members of the organisation to contribute to discussions about why and how to change, preventing the usual confident voices from dominating proceedings.

World Café excels when people want to work together to explore a particular topic; it allows existing organisational knowledge and wisdom to merge, supporting good decision-making.
— Sarah Lewis; Founder and MD of Appreciating Change
Some comments include:
- the ‘silent majority gets its voice back’
-suggestion to use ‘Cafe rules’ for meetings to reign back and moderate inappropriate behaviour; having different types of meetings and more frequent ones.
-staff want a ‘place’ to meet up - and like the idea of a ‘faculty space’ - to have more ‘unofficial chats’
— Pat Brereton; School of Communication Dublin City University - responses to World Cafe event

Want to see the types of changes these methods can bring about? Have a look at What We Can Help You With

The Problem: How To Change

How can an organization, or any part of it, change if it doesn't even know what the problems are, or how - or even if - things could be any better? Why will people invest in creating a different world if they think things are 'fine as they are' or just don't believe that there is a better way of doing things?

 

The Solution: Appreciative Inquiry

Highly adaptable, Appreciative Inquiry can be can be combined with other approaches or used alone. Almost any organizational activity benefits from an appreciative approach.

Appreciative Inquiry builds on existing organisational strengths and capability to create energised, sustainable change. Highly adaptable, Appreciative Inquiry can be can be combined with other approaches or used alone. Almost any organisational activity benefits from an appreciative approach. It is a very effective approach to change, built on positive psychology principles. It is good for coaching, team development and organizational development. It is excellent for developing employee engagement and motivation, improving performance and achieving change. It is effective when there is a problem, for example an unmotivated individual, a stuck team, or when the organization is resistant to change.

See how Appreciative Inquiry can work in action in one of our Case Studies

Also have a look at our Learning and Development Tools for using Appreciative Inquiry

When someone is appreciated, when what they do is appreciated, they grow towards that appreciation.
— Sarah Lewis; Founder and MD of Appreciating Change
Every problem is a frustrated dream.

Organizations are living human systems.
— David Cooperider; Farther of AI and professor at Case Western University

Want to see the types of changes these methods can bring about? Have a look at What We Can Help You With

The Problem: 'That's not my problem'

With large organizations divided into functions, geographically spread and linked by processes that take time to run from beginning to end, it is very easy for them to become a series of isolated functional silos that don’t really understand how they connect to the whole. Trying to get people from one department to adapt their behaviour to the benefit of another department is a perennial problem. Simureal can help with that.

 

The Solution: Simureal

By recreating the whole business process in one room, and speeding up time so that the activity of months can be observed in a day, this technique allows people to see how their behaviour affects other parts of the organisation and the outcome as a whole. This is a really effective way of encouraging co-operation across the organisation, not just within departments. Simureal brings the whole process together in one space to bring into sharp focus the departmental interconnections and inter-dependencies so the organization can adapt and grow.

See how Simureal can work in action in one of our Case Studies

Simureal brings the interdependencies and interconnections into sharp focus. It helps the organization become visible to itself.
— Sarah Lewis, Founder and MD of Appreciating Change
Simureal is great for facilitating genuine organisational learning.
— Sarah Lewis, Founder and MD of Appreciating Change

Want to see the types of changes these methods can bring about? Have a look at What We Can Help You With

The Problem: 'Why am I here?'

Too often in meetings people find half the agenda engaging, and the rest rather less so, and that's a good meeting. Change doesn't happen in isolation though - in complex human systems like organisations people need to work together to change things. So how do you use meetings in ways that really work, where people can speak freely about the things that interest them and so be invested in carrying out the improvements agreed upon?  

 

The Solution: Open Space

Open Space allows people to set their own agenda and then to move freely from one discussion to another following their interests. This means they can spend 100% of their meeting time listening and talking about topics that passionately interest them.

Open Space as a meeting, conversational or decision-making process ensures that people spend a 100% of their time in conversations that stimulate and engage them, discussing topics or questions that interest and energise them. It also allows for many different topics to be discussed at once, meaning that important discussions don’t get squeezed off the agenda.

Open Space makes the best use of limited time resources to greatest purpose
— Sarah Lewis; Founder and MD of Appreciating Change
Open Space creates interesting and energizing conversational spaces
— Sarah Lewis, Founder and MD of Appreciating Change

Want to see the types of changes these methods can bring about? Have a look at What We Can Help You With