Leaders attending FOLD training in July and August 2014 share their discovery of the all important first steps toward becoming a facilitator of change and development in others.
33 CSO leaders (15 women and 18 men) attended the FOLD (Facilitating Organizational Learning and Development) course in the second half of 2014. Module 2 of Cycle “R” was held in July 2014, while module 1 of cycle “S” was held in August. Cycle “R” participants will complete the training with module three, to be held in October 2014. Module 1 of cycle “T” will start in March, 2015 (see advert below for information about applications)
Leaders attend the FOLD course to develop transformative capacities to influence culture change in organizational and community situations. The course itself is facilitated through interventions that enable participants to surface and address real questions in their own personal development, as well as in their leadership practices. In the FOLD context, self-development is considered to be the all important first step toward developing a leader’s capacity to facilitate change and development in team situations or community life and activities. Other technical skills that the course offers include facilitation skills and tools that enable them diagnose and work with organizational questions, enhance team performance and ownership of organizational purpose.
Leaders listen at 3 levels
Documented participants’ experiences in the ongoing two FOLD cycles shows that active listening is the key ingredient that leaders must develop to become facilitative or transformative in their practices and performance. Specific guidelines for active listening were used to strengthen this particular transformative leadership quality, which was immediately applied by participants during interactive learning and peer coaching exercises, including BHP presentations where participants support one another for skills strengthening and personal development.
Gender and women’s empowerment
In cycle “S”, EASUN continued to strengthen the integration of gender, and more specifically, women’s empowerment focus in the sessions for practicing organizational diagnosis. New exercises were designed in such a way that challenged participants to relate identified change in specific organizational levels to actions that would be required at various other levels. As an example, actions taken to strengthening identity management of a CSO at the level of values will require the organization to examine what such change is asking of them to “let go” of, strengthen, or do differently in managing the level of gender. This emphasis In training leaders and facilitators means, in essence, that any diagnosis process will ensure that an organizations or community in a development process is listening to its development questions at the three levels of thinking (head – this where policies frameworks are either generated or imposed), feeling (heart – this is where values and emotions may be invoked) and intentions or will (feet – this is where the will to implement is generated, or resistance induced). All transformative work requires that the heart is touched in order to access the will to change.
What participants particularly enjoyed
- An engaging orientation exercise on the first morning module 1, for cycle “S” enabled participants, at the very beginning of the course, to internalize the concepts of “letting go” and “baggage”, which tend to dominate shadow dynamics of leaders and facilitators of development in others.
- Facilitation processes in the form of action-research (use of action-learning) enabled participant’s engagement, surfacing of new learning and ownership (of learning) with each exercise.
- The use of ALC (role-plays, story-telling, poetry, etc) supported deepening and internalization of complex frameworks and tools introduced in the training.
- 100% of the participants planned action steps, at the end of the modules, toward personal development and culture change in their organizations.
A particular difficulty experienced was that many group learning activities took longer than planned, particularly where training exercises were engaging and challenging participants at the levels of mindset, or the will. This tended to extend daily sessions into late evenings and limited the possibility for completing the module sessions as earlier planned. On the other hand, participants were still able to celebrate high energy levels at the end of each day, which they attributed to how the group learning processes were structured to generate ownership of learning.
In FOLD participant's shifts in outlook, skills and posture are monitored throughout the three modules of the course. The "back home project" (BHP) undertaken by each participant provides a framework of support to integrate new learning and address emerging questions in the process of practice development.
Apply now for a place in EASUN’s FOLD (Facilitating Organization Learning & Development) course: acquire OD skills for facilitating organizational learning and transformative change. Build transformative leadership capacities to facilitate your own organizational development. Twenty (20) places available for current intake.
Module 1 of cycle “T” will be held from 15th – 20th March 2015. Module II will take place over one week in July, while module III is planned for October 2015. APPLY NOW. This is a highly sought after training by CSO leaders and capacity development practitioners from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The training is designed for heads of organizations and senior programme staff. We recommend two participants per organization for maximum impact on your organizational learning. FOLD is facilitated by OD consultants associated with EASUN. Follow up practice development for trained individuals will expose you to OD consultants well known globally.