Sunday, 31 August 2008

Building communities for scaling up requires skill & training

Although all of us can hold conversations, network to varying degrees, can manage a meeting and send an email, I am not sure these generic skills are enough to build both the face-to-face and online communities that we'll be needing for the large scale changes that many organisations I am working with have planned.

A few years ago there was a big push on ensuring that the leaders of improvement projects had the basic project management skills to help them on their way. Likewise we train facilitators of groups in how to perform their role. Building communities and understanding the fundamentals of how they work and what techniques you can employ, when, is part of a set of skills that can be developed by building on what you already know. To despatch an untrained and unsupported person to facilitate a program of large scale change, scaling up or spread (whatever you'd like to callit) without some appropriate social and technical input is most likely to doom them and their program to a lesser set of outcomes.

Is it because we think we know how to have a conversation and have a relationship that we are too afraid to learn any more or to reach our for help when we are taking on large and important change programs?

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