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Journey to Ownership

When the Constellation runs a learning event, it introduces the Community Life Competence Process to a group. The Constellation knows that this process can help communities to take ownership of the challenges that it faces, but the people who attend the workshop are not necessarily equally convinced at the start of the first day. What is more the people who attend the workshop come with a diversity of roles and a diversity of intentions. There are those who intend to use the approach in their own community: there are those who intend to use the approach with other communities and there are those who are frankly puzzled as to why they are there ('I was told to come.")

When we recognise this we see that the facilitators of the workshop have 2 very different responsibilities. The first is relatively easy: people leave the workshop able to facilitate CLCP. The second is more difficult: people leave the workshop persuaded that CLCP has the value that we put forward. It is only when we convince ourselves that a process has value to us that we begin to take ownership of it. 

It would be nice if people could take ownership of the approach before they learned about its practical implementation. Unfortunately there are not many human beings who work like that. There is a journey to ownership of a process. And that journey is uncertain. For some, it will never happen. For others, it is so obvious that we can feel uncomfortable talking about things that are so obvious.—

This note looks at this journey to ownership and suggest how we need to recognise this journey in the design of our learning events. 

The Journey to Ownership
Here is how this experience might feel to us as we attend a learning event

Step 1: Reluctance—an imposed action.
("I will do this because I am attending this workshop and here is the agenda.")
Step 2: Apprentice—an obligation.
("I will do this because it is an exercise in the workshop.")
Step 3: Curiosity—a possibility.
("I begin to see possibilities. I want to explore this. This might have value to me.")
Step 4: Engaged—a desire to act and to learn.
("I will do this because I want to explore this and to use this.")
Step 5: Mastery—ownership
("I do this because it is valuable to me.")

From expert to facilitator to peer
We would say that we find it impossible to predict when Step 3 occurs. There are things that we can and must do as a facilitator to encourage this 'awakening'. But just as many of those who are going through a learning event go through this 'Journey to Ownerhsip', we want to propose that the facilitator must go through an equivalent process of 'sharing ownership' with those who go through the learning event.  

Step 1: Expert—the agenda
("Here is what we are going to do.")
Step 2: Facilitatory—the exercise
("Here is what you will do.")
Step 3: Shared experience
("We begin to learn-and-share.")
Step 4: Shared engagement
("We do this because we want to share our experiences.")
Step 5: Mastery—ownership
("We do this because it is valuable to us.")

Some thoughts
1. We emphasise that in a learning event, this Journey to Ownership happens as we gain mastery of the methodology of CLCP. It would be nice if the journey happened in a nice, predictable way but it doesn't. It is easy to lay down a timetable for mastery of the process. It is impossible to lay down a timetable for the journey to ownership. Without ownership, there is no sustainability. 
2. An individual who goes through a learning event, but who does not go through the journey to ownership will not be a champion for the process within their organisation. 
3. How does can a sponsor support the Journey to Ownership unless they too have been through that journey and wish to continue along that road. 
4. When we design our programmes, we need to recognise these ideas. Ownership, not a process, is the elusive goal.