組織適逢十周年,在這個重要的里程碑上，如何慶祝、回顧與展望呢? 除了傳統的慶祝儀式，還可以如何引發同仁擁抱光榮歷史齊心邁向新未來? 六月份朝邦對話新訊息介紹一個真實個案，如何藉助朝邦文教基金會的對話引導，連結熱情，找到新的行動契機。
作者：法律扶助基金會 藍婉今 法務處中級專員撰寫
“The milestone of our organisation’s anniversary is an opportunity to start dialogue”
What’s a good way to celebrate an organisation’s tenth anniversary so that we can together reflect and look forward into the future? Other than the traditional ceremony, how else can we lead colleagues to embrace our past and move into our new future with an aligned intention?
This June CP Yen Foundation’s dialogue newsletter introduces a case study of one organisation’s use of facilitation and dialogue to connect colleague’s passion with new opportunities for forward movement.
The Legal Aid Foundation’s 10 Year Anniversary: an opportunity to begin dialogue
by: Phoebe Lan, Specialist, Department of legal research & legal affairs, The Legal Aid Foundation
2014 is the Legal Aid Foundation’s (LAF) tenth anniversary, marking over 700,000 applications for LAF’s assistance, and LAF providing over 190,000 people with legal support over the past 9 years.
Despite these achievements, Taiwan faces an ever-changing social environment where the growing expectations of vulnerable groups and civic supervisory bodies reflect that the LAF has much room from growth and improvement.
Looking forward how can the LAF face the ever changing external environment? Shall we plan short, medium and long-term policy guidelines following by strategies that respond to the community’s expectations? Internally, do we need to return our attention to the LAF’s core values and philosophy? On this tenth anniversary, the LAF addressed these many questions through an internal organisational dialogue.
The CP Yen Foundation team designs a dialogue activity and spurs our desire for change.
In our search for organisational consensus building approaches, the Begonia Foundation (財團法人海棠文教基金會) introduced the LAF to CP Yen Foundation’s Executive Director Jorie Wu, through whom we were able to invite a facilitation team to plan a dialogue activity for us. Through pre-meetings and interviews the facilitation team learned about the LAF’s needs and designed a dialogue program for that day.
The first meeting was held on November 30, 2011 among directors, supervisors, the national branch president and the executive secretary. Then on April 29, 2014 we invited a larger group including LAF’s twenty-one national branches of nearly fifty employees to participate in a dialogue focused on co-creating LAF’s future vision and three-year work goals.
On the morning of the April 29 meeting, the LAF’s Secretary General 陳為祥 gave opening remarks encouraging participants to view the LAF’s future broadly and to find passion in their work. Following, the CP Yen Foundation facilitators 薛碧雯 and 陳明勇used creative small group warm-up exercises to get to know one another better and to smoothly create a sense of closeness among the participants from cities across the country.
Following the warm-up, participants paired up and used appreciative inquiry to reflect on each other’s most moving and proud experiences at the LAF, this in turn rekindled our enthusiasm and shared values at the LAF. The Facilitators then led the 40 participants to dialogue about their ideal image and possibilities for LAF’s future over the next three years. During this process the more specific we became the more our vision emerged before our eyes.
In addition to growing closer to one another, talking together and doing an ‘untying the knot’ team building exercise, in the afternoon we began to explore our future scenarios. Participants learned to open up their hearts to receive the many different perspectives about what participants view as important.
In the final meeting phase, the facilitators led participants through an open space meeting process to continue the morning discussions about co-creating our vision about the future and added the task of focusing on how to realise what the future vision needs by addressing relevant issues and actions.
Before the end of our day-long retreat, the participants were invited to tell each other about what they’ve gained from this experience. During the sharing there was much laughter and participants gained a lot from hearing each other’s opinions about their different work experiences. From the participants’ heartfelt sharing and feedback, I could feel that they were really engaged and open to one another, they were enjoying the atmosphere of dialogue and diverse perspectives, and they were feeling passion and participation.
Cross-branch participatory dialogue: injecting a momentum for change
The Legal Aid Foundation is a big family with 21 branches and colleagues from a diverse mix of professional backgrounds who passionately serve the marginalised while also working hard in their own sectors. So how can we help LAF colleagues to think, dialogue and talk in a way that naturally produces group consensus – historically a key challenge to the formation of vision and strategy? Compared to the LAF’s traditional meeting style, this facilitated dialogue brought an entirely new experience; particularly with the assistance of facilitation, our discussion exchange reached a deeper level and even within a limited timeframe we efficiently found creative possibilities and opportunities for action.
Dialogue and communication is a continuous and important work so in the future the LAF will encourage colleagues to practice creative dialogic approaches in the way we address issues and think about policies. Moreover, I look forward to LAF colleagues using listening and inquiry in their regular communication to understand and to construct a respectful, empathic work environment.
An Introduction to the Legal Aid Foundation
The Legal Aid Foundation reflects the need for professional legal help among people who cannot afford the costs of litigation and attorney’s charges by providing institutional aid for the protection of the constitutional guarantee to the right of legal action, equality and basic human rights.
The Legal Aid Foundation incorporated on July 1, 2004 to formally provide legal services specifically, counsel, mediation, reconciliation, legal document support, litigation agency or defense, and other services for those who lack the means of self-defense due financial or other reasons such as in mandatory defense cases where the applicant is unable to make statements in court and may lack proper legal protection.
The LAF will continue to serve the country through its 21 branches who can directly receive cases related to occupational injury, domestic violence, aboriginal matters, foreign workers, economically disadvantaged people and provide counsel through more than 2,800 qualified lawyers accredited with the ability to represent the public. We strive moreover to provide legal information to remote locations in the countryside and through video to let people know that there is legal aid.