From implementing strategic planning to leadership coaching, Partners in Participation provides for profit and non profit organizations, communities and government agencies with a variety of consultant services to help them improve their performance in addressing the multiple demands and needs of the diverse groups and individuals that they serve.
Partners in Participation works in partnership with leadership, and constituents in developing and implementing collaborative processes that achieve desired outcomes.
Associates at Partners in Participation create customized facilitation procedures for each client, according to their needs and circumstances. We are committed to facilitating organizations who are seeking to advance a culture of effective participation. We work with clients to create facilitated events and ongoing series of events that engage the input of a variety of stakeholders, through a menu of ToP and other facilitation methods and approaches. Within individual client relationships there is usually an element of each of the following stages: needs assessment, methods selection and customization, event facilitation (occasionally, training and mentoring of internal facilitators to lead the event), documentation, and follow up.
Partners in Participation Associates provide facilitation services to government agencies through the MOBIS Contract number GS-10F-0314K of the Institute of Cultural Affairs.
All of the following facilitation services are also available in Spanish.
Though each facilitation service is customized, the following are some broad categories of the types of facilitation service most often requested by clients. For illustrative examples of clients in each area, please click on the selected pages.
- Participatory Strategic Planning – Most commonly our Associates are called upon to facilitate strategic planning events within associations, agencies or organizations. Our uniquely participatory approach uses ToP® methods for long and short–term planning that includes creating a three–to–five–year vision, identifying underlying contradictions that block the vision, defining two–year strategic directions, and developing one–year objectives and a 90–day implementation plan. Partners associates also support participatory project assessment and documentation including working with the clients to document the project journey of implementation, identify accomplishments and results, and articulate the lessons learned and next steps.
- Partnerships and Collaborations – Collaborative ventures including multi-agency initiatives or cross-functional teams to achieve common objectives often require third party facilitation to engage the members effectively. Partners associates have facilitated the launch of grassroots initiatives with a wide diversity of interested parties with activities such as Environmental or Historical Scans, Trends or Gap Analysis to inform Vision Workshops that identify unifying goals and objectives. Role Definition retreats or determining Performance Improvement Goals can support the ongoing momentum of a collaboration. And Partners can work with your partnership to problem solve plan implementation and engage stakeholders in re-maneuvering.
- Designing Participatory Events – Advance preparation and appropriate design are the keys to facilitating any participatory event. Partners associates hold a ‘design’ meeting with clients prior to any facilitation in order to gather the background, identify the objectives and choose the appropriate methods to achieve both the rational and experiential aims of the event. We will work with you, and your core team, to design your upcoming conference, action planning, sharing rally, issue forum, town hall or other community and organizational events. We can help develop a clear focus, and participatory and effective procedures to ensure that people are fully engaged and productive throughout the event. We can also work with you to train the session facilitators from your own team in advance of the event with those tailored facilitation procedures.
- Board, Staff and Leadership Retreats – Events we are often asked to facilitate include organizational leadership retreats that we recognize represent a significant investment on the part of the organization. We have a variety of methods and approaches for creating the structure and context for a successful retreat. We often work with boards and / or staff to determine mission / vision / values for the organization, create or revisit bylaws, set guidelines and practices based in consensus among relevant parties, engage board / staff / partners in long term strategic planning, revisit and refine existing planning efforts, or create new member engagement strategies. Partners facilitated retreats emphasize productive time while valuing the team building that can happen within the organization and leadership when participatory methods are used.
- Ongoing Stakeholder Engagement / Public Participation – Though it is most common to call on a Partners associate to facilitate a single event or planning meeting, some of our most impactful relationships have come from working with a client or group of clients on an ongoing basis to provide support to long term change initiatives. Many of these are centered around finding ways to meaningfully engage the public in the issues and programs that directly effect them. Large and small group discussion series’ can provide a context for meaningful exchanges of ideas and involve an entire group in thinking through difficult issues and help surface new ideas and solutions. Facilitating ongoing stakeholder engagement through committees, working groups and smaller initiatives can help sustain the momentum of consensus based planning efforts. Continued presence of a third party facilitator can allow for a safe forum for potential conflicts to be addressed constructively. Repeated use of a menu of ToP facilitation methods in meetings and events can help to build up a discipline and culture of participation within an organization, initiative or community, contributing to mutual trust and accountability.