Facilitation and Emergent Learning
- Community Conversations
Strengthening Programs and Organizations
“If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.”
— African proverb
Facilitation is the art of bringing a diverse group of people together to share values, stories, and data in service to a common goal. The most important issues that organizations and groups face are the most difficult to navigate, and Flanagan-Hyde Associates is skilled at helping people solve complex problems together. Whether cross-sector collaboration or guiding a diverse group of stakeholders to tap into multiple levels of leadership, we are able to keep group members focused on the heart of the questions and concerns.
We have integrated the tools of Fourth Quadrant Partners’ Emergent Learning into our practice. Our clients have experienced the power of this approach in strategic planning, program development, social impact evaluation, strengthening nonprofit governing boards, building coalitions, and multi-sector collaborations focused on system-level change.
This begins with a framing question that often starts with “What will it take to…?” or “How can we…” The end of the question is a straightforward objective that everyone truly cares about. We keep questions simple, forward-focused, and action-oriented.
The framing question helps identify the “line of sight,” the path that takes people from where they now—the decisions and actions taking place in the present—to the intended outcome. This path may be unclear at times, but keeping the purpose of the work and the conditions that define success in the forefront allows the group to build solutions that are robust and flexible as conditions on the ground evolve.
Flanagan-Hyde Associates’ master-level facilitation techniques have allowed many different groups to engage in productive conversations. The dialogue may be uncomfortable at times, but we keep members focused on the heart of the issues and on finding actionable solutions. This has produced meaningful changes, such as:
- Becoming a more strategic organization
- Developing governance and organizational structures
- Organizational vision and mission statements
- Reaching consensus on guiding principles
- Measuring the value and impact of social sector work
- Identifying key audiences and messages
- Developing advocacy materials to build awareness and support outreach
- Social enterprise and entrepreneurship
- Grantmaking and public policy
- Promoting public engagement in the political process and policy issues
- Social innovation