Proposal for Restructuring the Internal Processes of the Facilitation Working Group V2

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The following proposal developed out of conversations between myself and Sully and has gotten feedback from many other members of the Facilitation Working Group. It contains three sections: “Final Form” which describes how we envision the group being structured once we have fully transitioned to the new structure; “Roll Out” which describes a gradual roll-out of the new structure, including various opportunities for review & modification; and “Suggested Agenda for a Weekly/Biweekly Meeting” which is just what the title implies.

FINAL FORM

Part 1: Choosing Facilitation Teams

  1. A contact list will be kept of everyone in the movement who has been trained and is interested in facilitating. (We should collect contact info for everyone who comes to facilitation training.)
    1. This list is already being created.
    2. It includes not only contact info but information about facilitation experience & availability
    3. You can add your name by filling out this questionnaire at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFZZa3dIczdfUWY2WVFTVDRWWnBoSUE6MQ
  2. Facilitation will meet as a full body only once or twice per week (see Roll Out).
  3. At the weekly meeting, two facilitation coordinators will be chosen, one for Spokes Councils & one for GAs.
  4. The facilitation coordinators will fill all facilitation team positions for the week from the people who attend the weekly meeting and from the contact list.
  5. The facilitation coordinators will also be in charge of making sure that facilitators are actually coming the day they are signed up and of filling any vacancies that arise. (Backups should be chosen in advance.)

Part 2: Facilitation Feedback
There are two ideas about how to do this. I suggest a brief discussion & then, if we don’t quickly resolve the issue, a straw poll. The goal here is to get something out; we can always modify it down the line. But the sooner we make these changes, the sooner we can begin to really get things done as a working group.

  1. Option 1: Each Facilitation team gets feedback the day after they facilitate.
    1. At 5:30pm every day, the Facilitation team for the preceding night will meet to discuss the GA/Spokes Council that they facilitated & to hear feedback from anyone who wishes to attend. Members of the Facilitation team for the following night are encouraged to attend this meeting, if they are available. (This would make sense every day except Sunday, because of the alternation between Spokes & GA.)
    2. Facilitation coordinators would also be encouraged (or maybe required?) to attend these feedback meetings.
    3. Someone at this meeting takes notes, condenses them to a few bullet-points & posts them somewhere public (the Facilitation section of the NYCGA website). The facilitation coordinators also email these bullet-points directly to the following nights’ facilitation team.
    4. At the weekly/bi-weekly meetings, a few minutes are devoted to report-backs from these feedback sessions.
  2. Option 2: Feedback is given at the weekly meeting & daily feedback sessions are optional.
    1. Feedback is heard at the biweekly full-group meeting & a larger portion of that meeting is devoted to hearing feedback and discussing issues that arose during GAs & Spokes Councils.
  3. In addition to either of these options, we can create an online form so that people can give feedback electronically. It has been suggested that this should be limited to members of the Facilitation Working Group, so as not to get a lot of typical online meannerless nastiness.

Part 3: Sub-Group meetings

  1. In addition to the feedback sessions, members of the facilitation working group & anyone else who’s interested, can attend other small-group meetings on issues relevant to facilitation, for example: workshops led by professional facilitators, self-run skills-honing workshops, discussion groups to explore and incubate new ideas about process and facilitation, discussion groups to incubate proposals for improving the structure of the GA, etc.
  2. During the first week or two, there could be a subgroup whose purpose is to examine the transition process, see what needs to be tweaked, and present suggestions to the full group.
  3. At the weekly/biweekly meeting, those interested in holding such breakout groups will announce them, answer any clarifying questions on the purpose & focus of the breakout & set a time for them to be held.
  4. Either the meeting times for each sub-group or the contact info for a point person for each sub-group will be posted on the website. (Someone needs to bottom-line this.)
  5. All sub-groups will report back to the main Facilitation body at the weekly/biweekly meeting.
  6. Sub-groups who have incubated proposals will also present these for consensus at the weekly/biweekly meetings.

Part 4: Education & Training Teams

  1. At the weekly meeting, we will assign two education coordinators.
  2. These coordinators will be in charge of ensuring that someone is signed up each day of the week to do facilitation training. This will be a training for people already familiar with the process and who want to become facilitators.
  3. The Education Coordinators will also be in charge of putting together a Direct Democracy Education Team for each night. This team will arrive at Liberty half an hour before the GA, announce that they are beginning GA education, and teach newcomers about the process. Alternately, the Direct Democracy Education Team could be composed of the Facilitation Teams from last night and tonight, which met earlier for feedback and to set agenda.

ROLL OUT

Because this is a major restructuring, it will need a gradual roll-out process. I am proposing the following roll-out process, based on various people’s feedback and the optimistic assumption that this proposal passes on Monday, 11/27. Things will need to be adjusted slightly if it passes at a later date.

  1. We begin with biweekly meetings, held on Sunday and Thursday, at 4pm. (I figure Sunday is always a good day, which means either Wednesday or Thursday for the second meeting, and I figure we don’t want to be the same day as Spokes.) We can switch to a single weekly meeting later, if we feel it is advisable.
  2. We should consider starting Sunday’s meetings 30 or 60 minutes early, to allow for an extended agenda (see proposed agenda).
  3. On Tuesday, we meet as a full body at our regular 4pm time, to pick facilitation coordinators, who coordinate teams for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights.
  4. Instead of doing a regular agenda, we being the process of generating sub-groups, based on short discussions on topics of interest, raised by anyone who wants to raise them.
  5. We meet as a full group on Wednesday as well, for a shortened meeting, at which we let anyone who missed Monday & Tuesday’s meetings know about the new structure, check in on how the process is going, address any scheduling issues that may have arisen with the sub-groups, and create more sub-groups if necessary. This Wednesday meeting also serves as a failsafe, in case the Spokes Council Facilitation Coordinator is having trouble assembling the team for that night.
  6. We meet again on Thursday, for our first, regular, biweekly meeting. At this meeting, we choose two new facilitation coordinators, check in about how the process is going again, and decide whether we need to keep meeting as a full group for quick check-in meetings every day or whether we’re ok with meeting only in sub-groups until Sunday. Because the process will be so new at this point, I suggest we don’t begin tweaking it in any other ways until Sunday.
  7. At Sunday’s meeting, after report-backs from sub-groups & GAs & Spokes Councils, we do another check-in on the new structure, see how everyone’s feeling about it, and make any adjustments that the group consents upon.
  8. Of course, anyone who wants to can continue to monitor & analyze the groups’ structure and process in subsequent days & bring proposals to adjust it, if they see ways to improve.

SUGGESTED AGENDA FOR A WEEKLY/BIWEEKLY MEETING

  1. 10 mins – greeting, warm up, welcome new people, etc.
  2. One of the following:
    1. 15 mins – report-backs from GAs, SCs, and feedback sessions
    2. 30 mins – feedback on & discussion of GAs and SCs
  3. 20 mins – report-backs from sub-groups
  4. 15-45* mins – agenda items developed by sub-groups. These will presumably be one of the following:
    1. Carefully planned discussions/teach-ins
    2. Proposals for Facilitation to adopt
    3. Proposals for Facilitation to bring to the GA/SC, if we consent upon them
  5. 15 mins – hear new breakout topics & get quick clarifying questions on each.

* This can be much longer on Sundays if we agree to meet earlier.

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