Before there was a 91-card deck called Group Works, there was a profusion of full-scale methods for working with groups large and small: Way of Council; Open Space; Art of Hosting; World Cafe; Appreciative Inquiry; Future Search; Sociocracy; and dozens more. The deck aimed to distill the core wisdom underlying the successful application of these methods: what do they have in common when they are working, when a group really flows? "Method-mapping" means doing "reverse engineering": we take the cards and use them as a common vocabulary to explain how each method functions. If you had to pick 3 or 5 or 10 Group Works cards to explain to someone how your favorite method works, which ones would you choose, and in what order?
At the time of this writing (spring 2013), we've held 2 events so far inviting practitioners to join in mapping as many methods as we can cover in about half a day. The first was held fall 2012 in Seattle prior to the NCDD conference, and the second was in Berkeley, CA in February 2013. Both the process and the results have been inspiring and fun. The full documentation for what was produced is not yet all posted online, but some of it is here. So far we've experimented with 3 ways of documenting the method maps:
- videos (of one or more makers of maps explaining it to the rest of us)
- inputting them into the card-sequencing module on the website
Here are videos from Seattle (fall 2012). A huge thank you to Nancy White for capturing these maps & narratives and getting them posted to YouTube:
Community Weaving https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa0Xibuc3dY&feature=relmfu
Restorative Circles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jshaNsHezU&feature=relmfu
Collaborative/Participatory Budgeting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVC3v5qWeuc&feature=relmfu
Peggy Holman on Collaborative/Participatory Budgeting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHtv69eam5U&feature=relmfu
REPORT FROM 1ST GROUP WORKS METHOD MAPPING SESSION!
There was much intensity, discovery, and laughter from the thirty of us who assembled at Antioch University in Seattle October 11th for the NCDD pre-conference "Method Mapping" workshop. What happens when you invite practitioners with deep experience in the field, indeed several originators of participatory methodologies, to play with the Group Works deck of group facilitation patterns to "map" essential aspects of different approaches to working with groups? We learned that whether you were already familiar with the cards or just encountering them for the first time, it didn't take long to become deeply immersed in spirited dialog about the heart and bones of a methodology using the patterns on the cards as the medium. Through two rounds small groups mapped some 15 methodologies from World Cafe to Restorative Circles, from Collaborative Budgeting to Appreciative Inquiry.
What especially delighted everyone and prompted both insight and laughter was noticing how the teams' process of approaching the task, and resulting maps, reflected the very nature of the method: so the Parliamentary Procedure group presented in a very orderly fashion and had their selected pattern cards arranged in straight rows; the Consensus group's arrangement of cards was a swirl of coalescing forces and collaboratively spoken; and the Community Weaving group got the whole room participating in their unfolding map! Another group insight was the realization that a still photo of the outcome couldn't begin to capture the richness of the group's "snapshot" of that method. Instead we learned to record the report outs on video so as to capture the narrative story behind the choice of specific pattern cards that described a methodology. Reflecting at the end of the session all agreed it was a meaningful and needed dialog to search for a meta language across approaches.
One way of thinking about group facilitation that is familiar to many is as a collection of methods. The Change Handbook, for example, lists more than 60 methods, such as Open Space, Appreciative Inquiry, World Cafe, and Real-Time Strategic Change. The Group Works deck takes a different slice on the material, looking for what is happening over and over again in these methods and other successful approaches.
Now we're ready to think backwards, using the Group Works deck in particular and the group process pattern language in general to discern what might be a unique emphasis in each of these methodologie in relationship to other methodologies. Scheduled for the eve of the NCDD conference (in Seattle October 12- 14, 2012), the project will be hosting a "Method Mapping" workshop to inquire into/play with how the cards might help delineate/distinguish different group methodologies. If you can be in Seattle this day, please join us! Here's the invite:
You're invited to...
MAPPING METHODS WITH THE GROUP WORKS CARDS
Date: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Time: 1:30-5:30 p.m.
Location: Antioch University Seattle, room 200
Before there was a 91-card deck called Group Works, there was a profusion of full-scale methods for working with groups large and small: Way of Council; Open Space; Art of Hosting; World Cafe; Appreciative Inquiry; Future Search; Sociocracy; and dozens more. The deck aimed to distill the core wisdom underlying the successful application of these methods: what do they have in common when they are working, when a group really flows? Now it's time to do some "reverse engineering." We want to take the cards and use them as a common vocabulary to map out the methods. If you had to pick 3 or 5 or 10 cards to explain to someone how your favorite method works, which ones would you choose, and in what order?
We are inviting people to attend this free session hosted at Antioch University (near the site of the NCDD conference http://ncdd.org/events), the day before the conference begins. The more familiar you are with the cards and with one or more facilitation methods the better, but as long as you've at least laid eyes on the deck before the session, we're happy to have you join us. Depending on how many people participate, we'll probably split into small groups with 1-5 people working on each method at a time, aiming to cover as many methods during the session as we can enjoyably manage.