facilitating & hosting

Art of Hosting – V. Five

Volume five… the most prolific of all my scribbly notes and mind maps from my recent Art of Hosting experience. My notes of hobbit tools and methods, harvested here as best I can.

Knowledge Camps/Method Camps – announced as hosted topics and we had the difficult choice of which to join. I chose the five breaths of design with Teresa Posakony then Chaordic Stepping Stones with Chris Corrigan.

Five breaths of design – model that diverges and converges.

  • First breath: birth of the callers; someone who really cares. What’s the longing? What’s the core of the question?
  • Second breath: purpose. Getting clear on core questions. Get team alignment. What’s the harvest. Team to carry forward?
  • Third breath: invitation/design. Who do we really want? Who cares? Who has responsibility for what transpires? Iterates with going back to core team/purpose. Will often have design team that is different from callers. Invitation isn’t email; lots of phone calls and conversations.
  • Fourth breath: Event. Fifth breath: harvest (e.g. graphic map). Stewardship of the harvest.

Chaordic Stepping Stones – foundation piece to Art of Hosting. As facilitators we stay in the chaordic space between chaos and order. Think of meeting like an entrepreneurial organization that rises up and disappears again. Examples of chaordic organizations: Visa, English soccer. Mantra: never work alone. Red thread – core team that holds the core process.

Core team discusses first (leads to beautiful invitation process – what will it take to get you into the room?):

  • Need. Multiple needs are okay. Not about getting it down to one.
  • Purpose. Becomes clear after you figure out the need. Name it! Not boiler-plate speak. Find the words to make it unique. If we didn’t do this meeting, what world the world miss?
  • Principles. Not too many, not boiler-plate. Important to share. Okay if it sparks questions. If you can’t remember them, you have a problem. E.g. participatory practice – your voice matters. Share this in the invitation. Prepare them for the shift – let them know.
  • People. Can do social network map. Look at core team, stakeholders, global community.

On to the organizing concept – 30,000 feet level. What’s the concept of the meeting (e.g. Theory U)? Inquire into limiting beliefs of the core team, “Given this concept, what do we need to let go of?” Can do The Work with them, or you do The Work on a group’s fears and see what you find. Hold a circle. What makes you tremble right now? Pass a piece. Name it (you guys scared?). For structuring the agenda, work with chunks of ½ days. Don’t schedule in 15 minute breaks (but know that the breaks will happen). Build in breath. Fill in all columns:  time/day, need/purpose, activity, harvest, notes (materials etc). Every column is filled or it comes off. Great idea for the inevitable downloading of information that happens:  allow one slide with image that speaks of what most proud of. Have five minutes to tell the story.

On to the Harvest. Plan ahead for this! Doesn’t have to be tangible; could be trust, relationships, or identifying emerging leader. About artifacts and feedback loops, and share the harvest plans in the invitation process. Good questions to ask: How is our practice going to change?

What are you planning this week? Given your plans, what do you need to let go of?

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