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Dynamic Facilitation

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For More Information: Dynamic Faciliation,


To achieve breakthroughs on real, pressing, or “impossible” issues; arrive at better consensus 
decisions faster; and empower people to new levels of capability, trust, and mutual respect.
  • Sparks “shifts” and breakthroughs on difficult issues 
  • Creates a “we,” where all work creatively together 
  • Awakens deeper understanding and a living-systems perspective 

When to Use: 
  • To solve complex, difficult, conflicted, or impossible issues in small groups or with individuals 
  • To transform organizations through assuring creative, empowered teams 
  • To transform very large systems of unlimited size 

When Not to Use: 
  • When the problem is easy or has low interest 
  • When a group is expected to “buy-in” to a decision that has already been made 

Number of Participants: 
  • 2–40 
  • One-on-one in therapeutic settings 
  • Within large work groups or teams of any size 
  • In systems of unlimited size,with the Center for Wise Democracy’s Wisdom Council 

Types of Participants: 
  • People who care about the issue being solved 
  • People come as themselves, not representing their positions or organizations 

Typical Duration: 
  • Preparation is less important, but it is valuable to know the situation through interviews and visits 
  • Process: Best in an ongoing series of meetings or, for instance, in 4 half-day meetings 
  • Follow-up: Written conclusion 

Brief Example: 
Road crew workers met each week in dynamically facilitated meetings. They worked on what they considered to be an impossible-to-solve issue: getting full-time flaggers for directing traffic in construction zones. The county commissioners had already said “no” on this issue. The road crew became empowered to reassert themselves, getting the county commissioners to change their position. Not only did these workers get the policy changed, but they also ended the usual micromanaging from county commissioners that affected all departments. 

Historical Context: 
Created in the early 1980s by Jim Rough; public seminars held since 1990. Developed further through practitioners in different settings.