Multi-party collaborative processes involve coordinating and mediating the interests and concerns of a number of parties to solve a problem, or develop a joint endeavor, that is too complex or divergent for one person or party alone to design an effective solution.
Everyone holds a piece of the puzzle. A skillfully designed and facilitated process is essential to engage people’s diverse identities and values, inspire the learning required to think and act in new ways, and build commitment to a course of action.
We support such processes by helping people to identify, and then integrate competing interests in new ways. We help negotiate interpersonal and inter-organization relationships that affect the range of solutions that can be imagined, and build cooperation and investment in carrying out agreements.
We believe that finding ways to reach ethical and durable solutions to complex social and environmental problems is vitally important to the evolution of organizations in private, public and non-profit sectors.
What is the role of the consultant/facilitator in a collaborative process?
Each process is unique, but consultant roles may include these elements:
- Interviewing stakeholders at the outset of the process
- Conducting focus groups
- Identifying information needs and resources
- Analyzing issues
- Mediating conflicts between individuals or groups
- Sorting out and addressing communication and decision-making snafus within organizations that are parties in the process
- Helping participants prepare for negotiations
- Documenting decisions and agreements
- Following up on implementing decisions