Some of these references are months and weeks old and some a little newer.  All are nuggets of the precious metal of your choice.

Jack Martin Leith says resistance to change is a myth.

“What appears to be resistance is simply an indicator that the value needs of the individual or stakeholder group concerned are not being met”

This exploration of sharing tacit knowledge or expertise from Nancy Dixon promotes the value of conversation rather than a one-size-fits-all explanation.  There are application lessons here for facilitators when helping clients look for more effective ways to ‘present’ expert knowledge segments.

It is in the back and forth of conversation, that is, both parties actively trying to understand the meaning the other is attempting to convey, that tacit knowledge is exchanged.

Here’s what we can learn from ants (and Dr Dan) about leaving a knowledge trail for those who come behind.

And last but definitely not least, this gem from Chris Mowles – a partipant’s advice on what useful facilitation is NOT. There is much more to this post than the excerpts I’ve chosen.  A must read.

Facilitated workshops are a very common feature of organisational life and are sometimes very good examples of the kind of thinking that assumes we need to design a process to have a process.    ……….   My own recent experience of a number of facilitated workshops has made me question whether they really are such positive and productive events, and whether they tend rather to suppress opportunities for learning rather than encourage them, the very opposite of what they intend.  [.....]

Additionally, in highly organised workshops there is often a pronounced anxiety about time, about achieving ‘outputs’ and about ‘capturing the learning’. The deliberate techniques to achieve all three can drive out all spontaneity and substitute mechanism for meaningful exchange.  [....]

If we were to take the more radical insights from the complexity sciences seriously, then there is no way of knowing in advance what is optimal in terms of different people with different experiences meeting together. Indeed, it would be the exploration of these differences which would be most likely to lead to surprising and perhaps innovative thinking, although there would be certainly no guarantee that this would be a comfortable process. Discovering what is ‘optimal’ for a particular group would probably involve quite a lot of negotiation, rather than blindly sticking to the agenda as pre-planned, and would emerge moment by moment. There could well be a role for the facilitator, but the fulfilling of it would partly be about encouraging others to take responsibility for the way that the workshop was running, the things we might choose to talk about and how we might talk about them.

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