The popular interpretation of facilitation as a discipline, task and skill is quite a simple one: the facilitator obtains an agenda of an event, welcomes participants, introduces speakers, ensures time management, summarises statements, gives people the floor in a discussion and in the end says goodbye to everybody. Perhaps she/he is asked to propose some facilitation methods to make the event more interactive and lively. She/he may also have to write a report on the outcomes of the discussions. However, this idea of facilitation is simplistic and, by and large, outdated.
This handbook advocates a whole-system approach which seeks to gather a broad diversity of actors around a matter of concern. Each of these “view-holders” has a particular perspective on the issue; this perspective results from his/her particular experience, socialisation and wisdom as well as his/her needs and interests. Any individual by him-/herself cannot have a holistic view of a matter – this applies even more if the matter is complex. It is only through interaction, mutual sharing and simultaneous learning that “view-holders” can begin to understand a complex matter in its entirety.
This handbook is designed as a script for training courses in facilitation and transformational change management. It provides a comprehensive introduction to the I-P-K Approach of facilitation, creates the foundations, and gives course participants and readers a set of practical tools they can use. We hope it will create a greater understanding of complex adaptive systems, catalyse the wider adoption of these design principles and methodologies, and kindle a new understanding of facilitation and, eventually, leadership.