What is facilitation?
Facilitation is something many of us are called upon to do in our day-to-day work, whether we’re running meetings, managing projects, or organizing people to get work done. At its core, the facilitator takes responsibility for planning and managing the process that will help the group achieve its goals.
What is ToP?
The technology of Participation (ToP) is a powerful set of structured facilitation methods that change the way groups think, talk and work together. They enable high-energy, inclusive and meaningful group collaboration that leads to successful outcomes.
Without effective methods like ToP, it’s easy for meetings to devolve into a lot of crosstalk that leads nowhere, or for a couple to dominate the conversation while others feel bored or excluded. Longer-term and more complex organizational or community change projects often falter because there is a lack of consistent and authentic member involvement and a sense of ownership of the desired change.
The best methods encourage genuine participation that leads to long-term commitment and quality results, as well as more effective teamwork. The best methods recognize and value the contributions of all group members, identify commonalities, and group contributions into useful patterns—all while welcoming diversity and minimizing conflict.
The paradox of these methods is that they provide a structured approach to participation while allowing greater freedom of expression and voice.
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Where can ToP methods be applied?
The best methods have been developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), a leader for the past five decades in promoting lasting positive change in organizations and communities around the world. The methods have been developed over 20 years of global action research focused on group decision-making and collaborative management, and ToP’s deep philosophical roots go beyond “tips and tricks” to enable deep and lasting transformation.
These methods have been used in more than 50 countries, in major international projects for social change, in UN and World Bank programs, in hundreds of organizational, community and corporate and became part of the training systems of employees of international non-profit organizations. Few methods have such a long history and have been applied in so many global cultures.
ToP can be used for anything from strategic planning and staff retreats to stakeholder working group meetings, departmental/organizational needs assessments, event and event planning, and more. The methods enable meaningful and engaging experiences regardless of the situation and the desired results.
In addition, ToP methods play well with others. ToP can enrich, reinforce and produce better results for the practices of Six Sigma, Lean, Agile, Scrum, TQM, Design Thinking, Collective Impact, Results-Based Accountability, Asset Based Community Development and many others.
Whether you work at the edge of technology and design, in the complex worlds of academia, government, and finance, or on the front lines of community development and social change, Best Practices offers a powerful collection of tools to navigate your group’s unique needs.
What can I expect from ToP training?
The best training is hands-on, fun and rigorous, giving you a chance to practice and get feedback in a high-energy and supportive environment. Immersive demonstrations, hands-on practice, peer coaching and real-life application opportunities will ensure you leave with confidence and immediate use of your new skills.
Each best course and accompanying participant guide is packed with tools, tips, examples and detailed resources that will keep you coming back to it again and again. In addition, you leave each course with an hour of free professional coaching to support your practice.
Our sliding scale pricing makes training affordable for individuals and organizations of all sizes. View our public course catalog or contact us to design customized in-house training for your organization.
And training is just the first step. Go further in developing your skills through certification and become part of the ToP network of experts.
In this article we discuss about Technology of Participation. The technology of Participation (ToP) is a powerful set of structured facilitation methods that change the way groups think, talk and work together.
They enable high-energy, inclusive and meaningful group collaboration that leads to successful outcomes.
Technology of Participation