FACILITATE: MULTI-PARTY INITIATIVES
Structuring and advancing a common agenda among stakeholders with differentiated interests and goals
Working together to address complex problems requires a systemic approach to identifying and advancing a common agenda from among diverse organizations and individuals with distinct needs, values, principles. Corporations, non-profits, foundations, governmental entities, academic institutions, and public citizens can create greater impact by aligning their respective efforts toward shared purpose and lasting change.
I work with stakeholders from across sectors to shape a coherent and integrated "whole" from the complementary parts that each brings to their initiative. Through facilitated group dialogue such as "social labs" and through capacity building with individual stakeholders, we refine purpose and vision while developing flexible and adaptive process-structures that support the common agenda, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities. This approach allows stakeholders to move through various stages of observing, shared sense-making, deeper knowing, and bringing forth new realities. Also, differences can be addressed and managed effectively in real-time throughout the process so unnecessary conflicts do not arise and delay efforts or cause rifts in relationships.
Multi-party initiatives are often sponsored by funders seeking to accelerate progress toward their innovation goals by leveraging the unique attributes of several organizations at once.
"A genuine conversation is never the one we wanted to conduct. Rather, it's generally more correct to say that we fall into conversation, or even that we become involved in it .... A conversation has a spirit of its own .... The way one word follows another, with the conversation taking its own twists and reaching its own conclusion, may well be conducted in some way, but the partners conversing are far less the leaders than the led. No one knows in advance what will "come out" of a conversation. Understanding or its failure is like an event that happens to us."