I was recently at an in person meeting that brought together a team that hasn't been in the same room for more than 5 years due to budget and geography. There was a variety of programs represented and all managed in different ways. As I sit through these meetings, somewhat as a guest, I had time to recognize how quick and easy it is to look for efficiencies when it is not your project/program. However of course I am only making these judgments based on the small understanding I have of the program being presented, and less so on the impact that the efficiencies will make on the people and the communities.
The tough decision need to be made at times to ax a program, or remove something that has been done in a small community to centralize however what is it that we do with all the pieces that are impacted (both people and programs). How much time do we spend on this piece of the planning? Who wants to take the lead on parts that are left behind and is it celebrated when it is successfully managed, or do we tend to focus on the new centralization and the efficiencies it provides only?
I was intrigued by this podcast on Trainer Tools on Involution: the importance of what's not there and what gets left behind. There are some really interesting tips on what to do as a facilitator to use an involutionary approach. Some of these included:
- rather than focusing on who is in the room, but focus on who is not represented in the room? why aren't they there, and is there a way to bring them to the conversation or even have someone represent their point of view?
- Rather than using an democratic approach to determining the best idea after a brainstorm session and simply ignoring some of the more unique ones that people didn't vote for, give a few minutes to focus on the least popular ideas and have people pitch why they shared these ideas.
I had never heard of involution before, but I am definitely intrigued and can see the value on using these approaches especially with tough decisions that impact many.