A Fresh Take on “Process”, and more…

Ever since I read Eugene Eric Kim’s latest blog post on “not liking process” a few days ago, I’ve been jumping-up-and-down-excited about sharing it with others. If you are in the field of group facilitation and/or consulting work, you have most likely have run across your fair share of folks who “don’t like process.” Check out Eugene’s empathically brilliant take on how we might re-frame this common situation…

I’ve also been delighted recently, to to learn about the growing attention that is being given to creating psychological safety in groups. I recently learned about the work of Dr. Amy Edmonson, a Harvard Business School professor who, in the course of other research, stumbled across the importance of psychological safety in the workplace. Here is a direct link to her crisply brilliant TEDx talk on the subject.

And here’s a link to a longer NYTimes article on Google’s recent research in this arena…


Part of the reason these articles are of interest to me, is that I see creating group safety via  empathic reflections as one of the underlying “patterns” in Dynamic Facilitation (DF). I mentioned this recently on the Group Works Pattern Language e-mail list, as part of a broader conversation where folks were exploring the value of becoming aware of the various underlying “patterns” within each facilitation method.

In response to my post, Daniel Lindenberger referred me to a short video he and Tree Bressen made, where they are “mapping out” some of the other underlying patterns in DF, using the Group Works deck.

I really enjoyed watching Daniel and Tree’s video. If you’ve not experienced DF before, the video won’t show you how to go about applying this method; that’s not its purpose. Yet you may find still find it intriguing… and, if you’d like to see more examples of “method mapping” using the Group Works deck, there’s a whole set of other maps on this page. Enjoy!

I’d love to hear your take on any of this stuff….please feel free to leave a comment below!

3 thoughts on “A Fresh Take on “Process”, and more…

  1. All good and rich resources.

    I wonder if it would help the “I don’t like process” constituency to notice how the words “process” and “system” are synonymous. Systems process inputs into outputs. Processes are active systems at work and/or play. Process becomes work when the communication system isn’t working effectively. Group process is systemic dialogue, sometimes systemic discernment.

    I see the psychological safety issue as important in the workplace, but also important to cross-fertilize with psychological safety within a household, at school and in other active-learning environments, in faith communities, but also what about prisons and police and military defense environments, or do we not value psychological safety in these punishing places, or do we believe that their purposes are endemically hostile to safety because psychological safety is premised on physical safety?

    Gerald Dillenbeck, M. Div., MPA, PDC

    • Hi Gerald! Apologies for the belated reply here… I’m really appreciating your perspective, on a “system” as a form of process…

      “Processes are active systems at work and/or play”. I love it! May I quote you??

      “Process becomes work when the communication system isn’t working effectively.” Brilliant!

      “Group process is systemic dialogue, sometimes systemic discernment.”

      Really appreciating your thoughtful comments, Gerald…

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