Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What is (are) "Facilitated Systems"?

Jeremy Miles, in referring others to one of my essays, wrote, "I don't know what a facilitated system is...." That's a fair (implied) question; here's my answer.

Facilitation refers to the process of making something easier for others. Sometimes that involves group facilitation, the act of helping a group of people work together more successfully through meetings of various types. At other times, facilitation may involve a more general helping of someone else. That could be what we normally call "consulting."

Hence the word "Facilitated."

We all work in complex situations. Sometimes we can better make sense of those situations by treating them as if they were systems of various sorts. "Systems thinking" in all its breadth can be of eminent practical use for each of us.

Hence the word "Systems."

Facilitated Systems brings together both of those meanings as I* serve organizations and the people who work in or are served by those organizations. Sometimes I facilitate productive work in groups. Sometimes I help an organization make sense of a particular situation through an outside perspective and various systemic approaches. Sometimes I do both.

In all of this, I want to help you make sense of your situation and help you determine how to act effectively, productively, and ethically in the world. I firmly believe in leaving you in control of your situation; I'm simply there to help. When you can do it yourself, I applaud you and wish you well. When you want me to help, I am honored to be of service.

* Facilitated Systems is a one-person consultancy, although I have a network of colleagues with whom I've worked to add capability and capacity for specific situations.

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