Change methods

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How to use these tools and methods

Sometimes these methods have more than one objective. If so, the most prominent are described under ‘Goal/Learning Objective/Expected Output‘.

Different forms of engagement range from individual work to group reflection to activating moments. As form follows function it is important to identify the objective and the level of energy needed at the given moment. ‘Way/level of dealing with subject at stake‘ helps inform which type of engagement is suitable.

In Principles of organisational change, we introduced the dynamics of opening (divergence), arising (emergence) and closing (convergence). The tools we introduce reflect these dynamics, so ‘Application in moderation cycle‘ suggests specific moments when this method could be used.

Duration‘ and ‘Group Size‘ should be self-explanatory.

Level of difficulty‘ reflects on the complexity and the difficulties a facilitator might face. In this handbook we have three levels of difficulty: Easy, Medium and Difficult.

Under ‘Facilitator‘ we describe the role of the facilitator and – if applicable – some specific suggestions in terms of skill, competence and experience. We also suggest whether it can be facilitated internally or due to its complexity – possible power dynamics arising etc. – we would recommend an external facilitator.

Some materials – especially more creative ones – need specific material to support the process of reflection and communication, we list these under ‘Materials needed‘.

Process description‘ gives a more detailed description of the method and how to use it. Sometimes that includes deliberate steps to follow, sometimes impactful dynamics to watch out for. In general, it shall help you get a better understanding and dare yourself to experiment with the process.

Debriefing options‘ describe ways to reflect on the process or the method itself (you can also share your comments on each method online). Sometimes in this section we also introduce ideas of follow up for later etc.

Finally, there are headlines only in some of the introduced tools, for example ‘Application and exercises‘.

A man in the middle of a room with coloured pieces of paper on the floor, with people sat around watching

Sociometric Exercise

Summary: This method is ideal for the beginning of a workshop or to receive a quick group feedback about things like the approaches being used or how to address a question.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Opening up
  • Duration: 15–45 minutes
  • Group Size: 5–30 people
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Mood Board

Summary: This simple activity helps you to keep an overview on how a group feels at different times during a workshop.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Throughout
  • Duration: Accompanying method, very short, repeatedly throughout a workshop
  • Group Size: mid-sized group (no bigger than 20 people)
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Biography Work

Summary: The method builds rapport between those involved, either by jointly developing an organisation’s history or by sharing personal histories.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Divergence
  • Duration: from 60 minutes to several hours
  • Group Size: For individual biographies – 10 people; For organisational biographies – 10+
  • Level of difficulty: Medium

Reflection Exercises

Summary: A process of reflection to be used between and during workshops.

  • Application in moderation cycle: In the middle and towards the end of a cycle; after exercises
  • Duration: 5–60 minutes
  • Group Size: 1–30 people
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Feedback Exercises

Summary: A process of giving and receiving constructive feedback, which can be practiced during workshops.

  • Duration: 10–60 minutes
  • Group Size: 2–30 people
  • Level of difficulty: Medium

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Interview

Summary: An affirmative approach that makes positive and successful experiences the basis for future action.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Divergence
  • Duration: 45–60 minutes.
  • Group Size: At least 6 participants (no max)
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Future Workshop

Summary: A method used to identify new ideas and solutions for
social problems in participatory and strategy development processes and in the context of organisational development.

  • Duration: 0.5–2 days
  • Group Size: 15–300 people
  • Level of difficulty: Medium

Organisational Culture Tool: Basic Models And Analysis

Summary: A method that turns people’s focus inwards on their own organisation, starting conversations, comparing views and perspectives and eliciting discussions about possible directions for future development.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Divergence to emergence to convergence
  • Duration: Half day to several days
  • Group Size: Small to mid-sized groups
  • Level of difficulty: Difficult

Decision-Making Culture Analysis

Summary: A practical method for analysing your experiences in the organisation, allowing you to discover patterns and possible inequities in your decision-making, and find ways to do it differently.

  • Duration: 45–60 minutes
  • Group Size: 4–8 people
  • Level of difficulty: Medium

Stakeholder Analysis

Summary: A method to help you or your organisation identify all the groups that are affected by actions and projects, and understand how they can or cannot influence these actions and projects.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Opening up, divergence
  • Duration: 2–4 hours
  • Group Size: 3–6 people
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Six Field Analysis

Summary: A diagnostic framework used to assess strengths and weaknesses in the functioning of an organisation.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Divergence to emergence
  • Duration: 1.5 hours to half a day
  • Group size: can be adapted to all group sizes
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Paradox Intervention – Plan An Exclusive Workshop/Exchange Programme

Summary: A method to help participants reflect on how they may be excluding people without being aware of it and what they could do differently.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Opening up
  • Duration: 90–120 minutes
  • Group Size: 3–25 people
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Open Space

Summary: A method that activates participants’ creativity and builds on their motivation and self- determination – there is no agenda or pre-defined content, just a transparent set of rules and a clear schedule.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Divergence to convergence
  • Duration: A minimum of one day to 3 days
  • Group size: A minimum of 15–20 people (no max)
  • Level of difficulty: Difficult

Rank Exercise

Summary: A powerful and playful method to let people feel what is meant by power differences, being rank differently and on different steps on the ladder of hierarchy.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Divergence to emergence
  • Duration: 60–80 minutes
  • Group size: 8 to 20 people
  • Level of difficulty: Medium

Chopstick Exercise

Summary: A method that serves as an opener to introduce
and reflect on the topic of leadership in organisations.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Divergence
  • Duration: 15 to 30 minutes
  • Group size: 6 minimum, but can also be done in big groups of 30 to 40 people, provided there is room for people to freely move around
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Guerrilla Gardening

Summary: A method that helps develop creative and feasible ideas for action that are examples of what an envisaged change might look like.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Emergence
  • Duration: 45 – 120 minutes
  • Group size: Small groups of 2 – 5 people
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Caucuses

Summary: A method for people who have had similar experiences connected to discrimination to speak together about them and related issues.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Opening up
  • Duration: 1 – 2 hours
  • Group Size: 4 – 15 people per caucus group
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Peer Group Consulting

Summary: A consultation method to support members of a team or an organisation to cope professionally with challenges in their daily work.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Convergence
  • Duration: 45–90 minutes
  • Group Size: groups of 5–8 people
  • Level of difficulty: Easy

Convergence: From Ideas To Preparing Decisions

Summary: A method that helps a group come to conclusions on various topics in a transparent and collective way.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Convergence
  • Duration: dependent on the time taken for the divergent (idea-generating) phase
  • Group size: Small- to mid-sized group
  • Level of difficulty: Medium

Consent Decision Making

Summary: A facilitative approach to support effective decision-making in groups as well as an underlying principle for collaborative governance.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Convergence
  • Duration: 10 minutes to over an hour
  • Group size: Applicable in small and big groups (max 40)
  • Level of difficulty: Difficult

Constellation Work

Summary: A powerful mapping technique for surfacing hidden dynamics in human relationships.

  • Application in moderation cycle: Emergence
  • Duration: 30 – 90 min
  • Group size: between 8 and 15 people
  • Level of difficulty: Medium