Organisations can invest tremendous amounts of money, energy and time trying to build “cohesive” teams. Team development is one of our core offerings at Illuma. But when it comes to teams at Illuma we don’t necessarily equate cohesive with effective. When sticking together means not challenging each other’s thinking cohesiveness is dysfunctional. We look to strengthen the team’s capacity to challenge each other’s thinking and surface underlying conflict and differences.
A couple of weeks ago when running facilitation training Rhonda mentioned that one of the key roles for a facilitator is to “protect” the outliers and work with processes that encourage diversity of thinking.
Who has experienced what is shown in this cartoon?
You may often hear facilitators say “the wisdom is in the room” but that is not necessarily the case as this article suggests https://hbr.org/2014/12/making-dumb-groups-smarter.* I’d like to think that a good facilitator works to mitigate the amplifying errors effect mentioned in the article.
Professional facilitators have a range of processes to encourage diverse thinking and challenging of perspectives. A facilitator should be working to develop group relationships that can withstand conflict and robust dialogue and should help the group hold the discomfort of ambiguity rather than leap to solutions.
The article resonates with me as a facilitator and I’m sure I’ve fallen prey to just about all the traps in the many years I have facilitated meetings.
Your comments are welcome – the link to the article is also on our Facebook Page where you can leave a comment or a question. https://www.facebook.com/IllumaConsulting You may need to scroll down to 10 February 2015. And of course you need to “like” the page to leave a comment … a not so subtle way to drive you to Illuma’s Social Media
* Illuma subscribes to Harvard Business Review. You may or may not be able to access this article. But well worth the $8.95 investment to purchase the article.