FO2011 aims

Not before time, I’ve tried to set out what I want from the course – thanks Sarah for the nudge 😉

I think there are broadly four areas I want to explore through the course.  To set some background, the huge majority of my facilitation since I became freelance has been for fairly structured workshops.  I see some delegates delegates more than once, and sometimes a workshop may be a follow on from an earlier one, but often they’re standalone.  Their purpose is usually sharing experience.  And I act as an agent for my client organisation, so I get brought in to refine the agenda and then run the workshop.  The ratio of physical to online workshops is about 80:20.

  • I’d like to do more in the creative problem solving area, though I think that might be challenging to do online.
  • I’m also interested in how one works with a group for a series of workshops or other interactions.  Again, online makes that more “interesting”.
  • And I want to improve my online presence – more and better work-related tweets, a regular blog that addresses interaction (broadening out facilitation, meetings and workshops) and IT.  So I’m hoping, by practice on the course and by exposure to more “professional” bloggers and tweeters, to find a good rhythm for my online postings and a better (more appropriate?) writing style.
  • And lastly, I’m also interested in facilitating asynchronous interactions and groups.

So, what help would help?  I think some of what I’m looking for I can probably work out – it may even be just a matter of systematising things I already know but haven’t quite realised that I do.  But having a periodic challenge from someone else to make me reflect or to suggest a direction I may not have spotted would keep me on track.  Plus I’d really appreciate critiques of my postings on style as well as content. And last, but not least, the occasional nag if I appear to have gone quiet 😉

Having said “last” already, here’s the real last thing for this post.  This course looks designed to be very interactive, with all of us participants contributing to each other’s work.  Blog posting is not just for the sake of it, but to help our fellow students on their journeys.  I hope I make the time to do this for everyone.

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3 Responses to FO2011 aims

  1. Thanks for this, Chris.

    One of the things I do for online problem solving, especially if it is my problem that I want solved, is to start off in FB and Twitter and lead people to my blog where I set out the problem. I think there is a real knack to doing this (and I have to say that it doesn’t always work to my satisfaction)…as online facilitators, I think we need to get a feel for what will attract a person to a conversation and support them to engage. What do you find works?

  2. Chris Woodhouse says:

    Hi Sarah.

    As ever, I like the way a blog comment can take a line of thought in a new(ish) direction. I hadn’t thought of using my blog to help with solving a problem I might be wrestling with – so thanks for that ace tip. I haven’t tried before so I can’t yet answer your question about what works. In fact, pretty much all my online facilitation has been a series of one-off synchronous events – which just goes to underline one of my course aims about broadening out what I do online.

    Where I was headed with my comment about Creative Problem Solving (CPS) was thinking about how one might run such a session in a virtual encounter. In physical workshops, I would typically meet with the client/sponsor before the event to discuss what s/he wanted to achieve. I would then design the event, usually having no published agenda, and guide the participants on a journey which would end with an agreed set of actions to take forward one or more ideas that address the question(s) they agreed at the beginning of the workshop that they were trying to answer. After some sort of ice-breaker, we would reframe the “problem”, and then go through one or more divergent/convergent cycles to generate lots of ideas and focus on those that would (could?) get towards a result. (Sorry – a couple of rather long sentences there!) My personal success criterion was that the group went away with concrete actions. So, the CPS question for me in FO2011 is how I might do CPS online.

    The Wikipedia entry for Creative Problem Solving is not a bad summary.

  3. The beauty of including your blog in this process is you have a written record which you can incorporate into your ePortfolio and you can refer back to it whenever you like…and share your work with others.

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