The word facilitation is derived from the Latin ‘facile’ which, simply translated, means ‘to make easy’. A facilitator is therefore someone who makes something easy for others. So how is facilitation different from other professional services that might also make something easier, such as consultancy, training or mediation? And how is facilitation different from other group leadership roles, such as chairing? Clarity of definition can help to manage expectations on the sides of the client, the group and the facilitator, and so achieve better outcomes.
A classic if lengthy definition is that of Roger Schwarz:
“Group facilitation is a process in which a person, whose selection is acceptable to all members of the group, is substantively neutral, and has no decision-making authority, diagnoses and intervenes to help a group improve how it identifies and solves problems and makes decisions, to increase the group’s effectiveness.” – Roger Schwarz.
This definition addresses three critical dimensions – the role or stance of the facilitator, what he or she does to make things easy; and to what purpose.
Firstly, the facilitator is neutral to the content and task of the group. That is not to say that the facilitator cannot or should not have any content expertise or any stake in the outcome of the task, but that the group must be able to have confidence that the facilitator will not allow these to influence the group’s work and decisions. In contrast, the consultant provides expert advice and the trainer imparts knowledge or skills, both contributing content expertise.
Secondly, what the facilitator does is to diagnose and intervene in how the group works. In other words, he or she contributes process rather than content expertise. The facilitator is not neutral to process, but indeed is granted responsibility for the group’s process, by the group. A leader cannot impose a facilitator on a group without its consent.
Excerpts are from Source: https://martingilbraith.com/facilitation-and-how-it-can-add-value/
Organization development (OD) is an effort that focuses on improving an organization’s capability through the alignment of strategy, structure, people, rewards, metrics, and management processes. It is a science-backed, interdisciplinary field rooted in psychology, culture, innovation, social sciences, adult education, human resource management, change management, organization behavior, and research analysis and design, among others.
Organization development involves an ongoing, systematic, long-range process of driving organizational effectiveness, solving problems, and improving organizational performance.
Many OD interventions relate to human resource management and talent management. While HR initiatives focus on people practices, organization development zooms out to consider multiple inputs and tools that cut across the breadth and depth of the organization. OD is more holistic and strategic whereas HR is operational. Like talent development, sometimes OD functions are under the HR umbrella.
The process used by OD practitioners to design and implement organizational development strategies is structured in five phases:
Organization development initiatives are typically categorized as:
Most initiatives have elements of each category. OD professionals should ensure that any OD solution is aligned to specific strategic objectives.
OD practitioners concern themselves with strategic planning and thinking, so these skills are a must for them. Being a change expert, experienced process facilitator, business advisor, credible strategist, and informed consultant as the major capabilities of OD professionals. Some of the skills included are data collection and analysis, project management, management skills, emotional intelligence, business acumen, communication, collaboration, and mentoring and coaching skills.
OD practitioners create an alignment of strategy, structure, people, rewards, metrics, and management processes to improve efficiency and productivity in the workplace. These practitioners identify and solve problems that have to do with organizational systems that impact engagement, productivity, and performance, and they may also lead initiatives that benefit individual growth, such as career development, management, and leadership development, and performance improvement
OD professionals are adept at designing and implementing employee engagement strategies; facilitating communication between employees and work groups; and articulating and codifying talent and leadership principles, values, and competencies that guide the organization’s culture.
*Excerpts are collected from various credible sources on organizational development knowledgebase and own experience is added to0.
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