monthly myth

#MONTHLYMYTH: FACILITATORS NEED TO BE CONTENT EXPERTS

#MONTHLYMYTH: FACILITATORS NEED TO BE CONTENT EXPERTS

Facilitators work across many industries, audiences and topics, and sometimes the issues or information being considered are complex or technical.  We’re often asked how we manage to move across so many broad ranging issues and projects, and whether we need to become ‘experts’ in each topic before we facilitate.

This #MonthlyMyth explores some of the misunderstandings that sit behind this myth, highlights the true role of a facilitator, and uncovers how facilitators really work with information and content.

#MONTHLYMYTH: DELIBERATION IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER

#MONTHLYMYTH: DELIBERATION IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER

Deliberation can be refer to either a micro-process (something you can build into part of a session or engagement process) or a full deliberative democracy process (such as a citizens’ jury).   

Deliberative engagement has a lot of potential benefits - these processes can lead to new solutions to challenging problems, improve policy outcomes and engender trust between citizens and decision makers.

So, is deliberation always the right answer/process? The short answer is no. 

#MONTHLYMYTH: STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT IN DELIBERATIVE PROCESSES

#MONTHLYMYTH: STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT IN DELIBERATIVE PROCESSES

We’re kicking off our 2019 #MonthlyMyth series by addressing a topic we’re often asked about. We’ve noticed that it’s an issue that makes organisations nervous.  There’s a fear that (where a randomly selected panel or jury is involved) stakeholder and interest groups will be cut out of the conversation and oppose the process or decision.  

Luckily, not only is it important to incorporate these groups in a deliberative process, there’s also lots of ways they can be involved.    Today we’re exploring why it’s a good idea to do so, and giving you seven ways to bring them on your deliberative journey.

#MONTHLYMYTH: TRANSPARENCY & RISK GO HAND IN HAND

#MONTHLYMYTH:  TRANSPARENCY & RISK GO HAND IN HAND

‘Transparency’ is a key term in the world of engagement.   We all know that it’s central to any robust, effective engagement process.

It’s also a word that, for some, goes hand in hand with risk and a loss of order and control.  That makes sense - because being honest, sharing the problem and providing in-depth insights into an issue can feel scary. 

Today, we're addressing this myth and providing some reasons to be brave, risks to be aware of and key starting points when it comes to transparency. 

#MonthlyMyth: Firm positioning required before engaging

#MonthlyMyth: Firm positioning required before engaging

It’s an easy trap to fall into, and an approach that’s often taken as a matter of course – solidify your organisation’s position before you engage with any external community or stakeholders.  While this may appear (in the short term) to make your organisation feel more ready to engage, it actually undermines many of the objectives of a robust engagement process. 

#MonthlyMyth: Warm up activities have no purpose

#MonthlyMyth:  Warm up activities have no purpose

Now and then we hear people say that what you might loosely categorise as ‘warm up’ or ‘introductory’ or ‘getting to know you’ activities are pointless exercises with no real purpose.   It is assumed (perhaps?) that they are something facilitators do just because that’s what facilitators do and they like to ‘play games, not because they have any bearing on the issue at hand or any tangible benefit to the group.

We can’t speak on behalf of all these types of activities (perhaps there are some out there that really are annoying, pointless and fluffy!); however, today, with the kind of activities that an effective, experienced facilitator might use in mind, we’re debunking this myth.

#MonthlyMyth: Tables enhance conversation

#MonthlyMyth: Tables enhance conversation

We are often drawn towards what we know – it’s comfortable sticking to what we are used to doing, seeing and experiencing.  However, when it comes to engagement, sometimes comfortable doesn’t equal effective, and this month’s myth is a perfect example.

#MonthlyMyth: Build it (online) and they will come

#MonthlyMyth: Build it (online) and they will come

Online tools are an important part of the modern engagement landscape.  They offer a broad range of benefits from ease and flexibility of access to handy data analysis options.   They can be absolutely worth the investment, and are integral parts of most successful, contemporary engagement processes. 

However, it's a mistake to think that a great online platform or tool alone will solve all your engagement problems or attract high levels of participation - no matter how much you spent on building it or how long you spent on perfecting it. 

This monthly myth touches on a mistake that is pretty easy to make and can catch organisations out, leaving them without much of a return on what can be a significant investment.

#MONTHLYMYTH: LOW PARTICIPATION IS CAUSED BY LOW INTEREST

#MONTHLYMYTH: LOW PARTICIPATION IS CAUSED BY LOW INTEREST

Our monthly myth for March is here!  Low participation rates is a problem many organisations face when it comes to community engagement activities.  The cause of this, however, is not always obvious.  Today we're exploring some of the other (common) reasons that people don't get involved in your process.