Some of the most useful work in
creating organisations like development trusts is done in small
groups with as facilitator - not in committee meetings. Workshops are
appropriate, for example, to brainstorm and prioritise project ideas,
and to work through basic values and principles for a
Workshops in the start up
During the start up process you might
- Early workshops with different
interest groups - local residents, businesses, public bodies -
around a simple SWOT format. That is 'What are the strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats for our area?'
- Brainstorming project ideas to
meet the threats, build on the strengths and seize the
opportunities. 'What projects might we do if there were a new body
with the skills and resources to make things happen?'
- Prioritise these ideas. Write
project descriptions on cards - perhaps with some rough costs and
other requirements - and ask people in small groups to put them in
order of priority.
If in each instance these workshops
are run with a particular interest group it is possible to see the
different pictures of the future emerging - and where these visions
do or do not overlap.
The workshops will both provide valuable material for a vision and
draft business plan, and also identify people who may become
committed members of a steering group.
When the different interest groups do come together, perhaps in a
seminar, they will all have some common framework for discussion,
even if they disagree on priorities.
Charles Ritchie of the Community
Operation Research Unit provides these general guidelines for running
- Outline, explain and get
agreement on what is going to happen in the session
- Stick to agreed timetable - keep
an eye on the clock
- If you intend to use flipcharts
or hand out material, check on literacy. Working in pairs or small
groups can help to overcome these problems.
- Check for colour
- Have space to display
- Have space to let groups work
- Have a flip chart stand or flat
walls to allow flipcharts to be written on
- Always have a range of coloured
pens, blu-tack, post-its, flipchart paper, coloured
- Post-its can be very useful to
allow ideas to be moved around or clustered on a flipchart/wall
... or even to be thrown away
- Write clearly - check everyone
- Encourage others to write on the
flipcharts - but don't force them
- Talk loud enough - check everyone
- Encourage work in small group
(3-5), even if there is a lot of talking and input in the whole
- Listen to what people are saying
- in groups and in plenary
- Check out understanding before
writing on flipcharts
- Be happy to make mistakes and
- Don't establish yourself as the
- Ask naive questions
Look out for the possibilities for
short role plays (using objects) to explore statements or
© David Wilcox firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tel +44 (0)1273 677377. Fax: +44 (0)1273 677379. These information
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Guide to Development Trusts and