不論是在公部門、企業界甚至公民社會團體，在與不同背景、想法的人共事時，都極受煎熬。有鑑於此，朝邦文教基金會特別邀請國際知名社會變革引導者–湯斐力先生，帶領一場三天（11月04日到06日）的工作坊。這次工作坊共吸引了兩岸四地52人參加, 包括台灣,還有 中國, 香港以及菲律賓的同好. 工作坊把焦點放在如何規劃一系列包含各方利益相關者對話過程，讓參加工作坊的各方好手能以更精進的手法幫助團隊集體思考與行動。這三天豐富的學習,都呈現在短短的六分鐘影片 : https://www.youtube.com/2011 Dialogic Workshop
A Review of The Dialogic Change Workshop with Philip Thomas
People at all levels in government, civil society and business frequently struggle in working with others of different backgrounds and perspectives. To address this challenge, the CP Yen Foundation invited Philip Thomas to deliver a three day workshop (Nov 04-06) focused on designing a multi-stakeholder dialogic change process where participants from the three sectors would fine-tune their skills in collective thinking and action. The workshop attracted 52 participate from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and the Philippines to plan a series of dialogues. The workshop’s rich learnings are captured in a short video here; https://www.youtube.com/2011 Dialogic Workshop This month’s newsletter reviews this workshop.
Dialogic change processes recognize that:
- Action matters: coordination across individuals and groups based on mutual understanding and trust generates more effective results;
- Thinking matters: rigorous reflection on our assumptions and “theories of change” guide our thinking and actions;
- Relationships matter: paying attention to the quality of interactions and adopting a stance of learning, empathy and openness to self-examination generates trust and more effective communication;
- Process matters: the use of appropriate social tools for organizing interactions within and between events enhances the quality of the above three points: action, thinking and relationships.
Change initiatives suffer if any one of these elements are absent or over emphasized. As society becomes increasingly plural our challenge is now to have better communication, not simply more. This requires realizing that our individual knowledge and vision is partial and to continually ask “what do we not yet know…and need to learn?”
By transcending the logic of “predict and control” and shifting to “learn and adapt” we learn to recognize the legitimacy of our own perspectives while simultaneously remaining profoundly open to the other.
Dialogue aims to achieve a changed relationship, and each stage of its development has a specific intervention whose purpose is to elicit greater understanding among stakeholders.
As shown in the image to the right, dialogue generally begins with a stage of issue exploration where divergence occurs as multiple perspectives get voiced.
A facilitator must create a safe enough space so that all voices can coexist and begin deliberating over possible solutions to the topic at hand. Finally convergence occurs as stakeholders reach decisions on ways forward.
A facilitator aims to enable a group to undergo a change process that generates concrete agreements and actions. Philip introduced a series of steps used in a dialogic change process to achieve a participatory decisionmaking process, (illustrated at left)
Throughout a dialogue, deliberation and decision-making process trust and respect must be continuously built through listening, as depicted by the reinforcing loop to the right.
As a strategic designer, the facilitator is responsible for ensuring:
- Inclusiveness: guaranteeing the inclusion of all perspectives, including voice of those frequently excluded or on the periphery, and ensuring quality of participation by considering the existence of information, competencies, clarity of purpose and mandate of the intervention.
- Joint Ownership of the process by stakeholders is essential for a successful outcome and can be achieved through codesigning the entire process with the key stakeholders.
- Legitimacy of the process is maintained through impartial process management (in facilitation, managing information, documentation, communication, logistics) and clear mechanisms for monitoring and follow-up.
- Political will is necessary not only to engage in dialogue, but also to reach agreements and follow through with implementation.
The “triangle of satisfaction” on the left is a tool to analyze interests and needs for facilitators to design interventions that attend to three kinds of interests: psychological (do participants feel understood?), substantive (does the design have a clear purpose and scope to achieve the results participants really want), and process (is the procedure fair, clear and inclusive?). An intervention’s success depends largely on the extent to which each of these interests are satisfied.
Within each stakeholder group however fragmentation often exists and a dialogue process therefore consists of many stages starting with (see image at left) intragroup work first, followed by informal spaces to convene the different sectors together for deepening understanding of each side’s views, and finally, after informal dialogue and deliberation, the groups meet in formal spaces to declare decisions. Over the course of a multi-stakeholder dialogic change process intra- and inter-group processes unfold in a way that the design is both the shaper of, and shaped by the implementation, as depicted below:
Adapting design to the changing context means that “doing change well” depends more on the capacity for learning and adaptation than on the ability to execute a good design well. A facilitator’s role therefore is to helps the group through the learning cycle of:
The CP Yen Foundation intended this workshop to offer both an overview of the subject of dialogic process design, and for practitioners to gain inspiration, guidance and indications of where to continue their learning journey more deeply on specific topics. For further research into the deliberative dialogue process we recommend the Democratic Dialogue – A Handbook for Practitioners, written by Philip Thomas and available for download online.
Because dialogue is always about the needs and priorities of real people in real situations, in 2012 the CP Yen Foundation would will recognize Taiwanese practitioners of dialogue with a leadership in dialogue award. Nominate a dialogue practitioner by writing to (firstname.lastname@example.org) explaining how dialogic methods were used to achieve sustained positive social impact, how was the intervention was implemente