Change - Strategic Facilitation

by Tony Mann

Introduction

This topic provides an introduction to the theory and practice of strategic facilitation, which is a participative approach to successful change. That word ‘participative’ is key: this topic is not about managing change per say. It is not a guide to change management and the various stages people go through when change occurs. It does not cover the personal journey of people in change.

It does, though, aim to be a manager’s handbook on the guidelines for making change ‘stick’. Crucially, it is designed to encourage those who believe in, or want to be convinced about the value of, participation and engagement. Its purpose is to provide these people with the wherewithal to undertake participative change. Importantly, this topic contains the necessary theory around participative change management and focuses on the wayto tackle change in a participative style.

The topic is therefore designed for the decision makers and for directors who will be leading change, managers who have to champion change and change agents/strategic facilitators who will be there to facilitate the strategic process of change. It is designed to support their endeavours, to give insight as to why, perhaps, change goes wrong and why change has not been as effective as people would have envisaged.

It is written to provide a methodology, an approach and a series of activities that the organisation can adapt to meet the situations it faces. This topic is here to help provide a framework for managing participative change more effectively and enhancing the chances of change being more meaningful, more productive, more appealing and less frightening for all concerned.

Above all, this topic explains how a skilled strategic facilitator selects from a range of models and tools in order to ensure participation, engagement and buy-in. It shows how an organisation can benefit from a carefully-planned programme of workshops when undergoing change and the value of having a senior management team that uses effective methods to assess the need for change on a regular basis.