All of our problems are
content, that is symptoms of processes operating within a larger
context. These symptoms tell us that something is wrong, but not what
is wrong with the systems we have operating. If, and only if, we
understand the ‘the big picture’, that is the overall context of any
situation and all the processes operating in that context, we will be
able to solve our problems. Failing that we will be always be doomed to
creating newer and more complex problems.
CONTEXT - Domain. The interrelated conditions in which things occur. The weaving together of words. The physical and psycholological "setting" in which process and content occur.
PROCESS Something going on. A series of actions or operations conducing to an end/result. A prominent or projecting part of an organism/organic structure.
CONTENT Substance. The thing itself. Physical reality.
The crisis of the 1990’s is a crisis of perception. Our decision making is driven by a focus of perception on the content, or symptoms of the problems we face. The vast complexity of this content overwhelms us and forces our leadership to limit its focus to the most immediate demands, and just in order to get the job done, also limit the input of people affected as much as possible.
‘The big picture’ can only be constructed by accurate and honest input from people at all the vantage points in a situation or system. Their wisdom is always available but seldom heard and rarely used. This is why the need for process skills at every level of organization is so great. We can all agree that teamwork in both the public and private sectior has much room for improvement. Our approach to this challenge is to focus on providing technologies of cooperation on a scale beyond what most buisnesses, organizations or people can imagine.
Using highly efficient methods of group process, it is possible to design planning processes that can assure a productive outcome by including the input and generating the buy-in of large, diverse and even polarized groups. These approaches can draw out and crystalize areas of shared agreement that often go unrecognized, so that leverage points of common ground that already exists don’t get uncovered and used to align everybody.
Effective process facilitation takes people beyond their opinions and draws out thier deeper commitment to getting the job done. They get a bigger picture of themselves in relation to the challenges and opportunities, and hence create a highly cohesive team spirit.
If tools for more efficient meetings are given to as many levels as possible, people can continue to build momentum as they implement. This allows those within the ranks to dramatically increase the minute-to-minute productivity of their meetings and their ability to tap all the available expertise as they work. This is why a Process Skills Institute.