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Facilitating

Action Design provides facilitation services to help groups make progress on tough issues.  We design meetings and facilitate conversations so that different points of view can be voiced in ways that deepen understanding and lead to informed choices and coordinated action.

When everyone thinks alike, group discussion is redundant.  Groups create value when a diversity of knowledge, expertise, and judgment can be brought to bear on important topics.  But it is not easy to harness diversity and make it productive.  All too often different points of view result in stalemate or, in the interests of harmony, a retreat into politeness and diplomatic avoidance.

We help to create conditions for success by consulting with the leader or a designated sub-group to design the meeting.  We speak with participants in advance, crystallize key issues, and frame topics for discussion.  During the meeting we deepen discussion by inquiring into reasoning, inviting contrasting views, identifying implications, and testing consensus.  We work with the emotions and interpersonal dynamics that arise so that they contribute to rather than block progress.  We help to clarify learning points, action items, and next steps.

We have a quarter century of experience in this work.