David Sibbet | Blog
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On October 23 in San Francisco I will be presenting the story of RE-AMP (Renewable Energy Alignment Mapping Project) to the Organizational Development Network. This is an initiative of 48 non-government organizations and 8 foundations collaborating to have their region, the upper Midwest, become a leader in clean energy in the electric sector. I facilitated four parallel strategic planning efforts in early 2005, and now the implementation phases of this ambitious project.

In the ODN presentation I will use a case study format to examine the facilitative strategies, virtual organization, communications structures and learning arising from the RE-AMP project.

Facilitating Social Change: Cleaning Up the Midwest Energy Sector

Initial RE-AMP participants

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This fall I get the treat of using my new book, Graphic Facilitation, to lead a Principles of Graphic Facilitation training in Baltimore. This has been a year of real completion for me with this work.

Twenty-six years ago in 1980 I wrote the first version called I See What You Mean: A Workbook Guide to Group Graphics®. That manual has shaped my and others’ facilitation careers more than I could have anticipated. It’s gone through at least nine reprintings. It was copied by the U.S. Army to train all their facilitators at Fort Ord in the 1980s. The developmental disabilities network trained by John O’Brien in England used it to build a platform for Person-Centered Planning. And it became a foundation product and course for The Grove as we’ve trained people worldwide. Now there is even an International Visual Practitioners Forum holding annual conferences.

Since that time my work has evolved quite beyond Group Graphics®, the brand name I and my colleagues gave the specific approach to graphic facilitation described in this book.

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Facilitating Social ChangeWhile looking through some past work I came across this Partners for Change model that I co-developed with Sissel Waage, then VP of R&D at The Natural Step. We’d worked together at a fascinating symposium at the Weatherhead School at Case Western University in late 2003 bringing together social scientists and activists who had deep experience in social change. This process drew on our long experience facilitating cross-sector meetings.

We came away convinced that people sharing stories across some of the traditional boundaries is critical in finding ways forward around the challenging issues of our time, like global warming and growing inequities between rich and poor. We realized that both big-picture thinking and deep dives into feelings and personal responses needed to come together to create any kind of shift in thinking and action.

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I found this original graphic of National Semiconductor’s strategic vision in my files and was prompted to tune up the extensive case study of how The Grove successfully used large-scale graphics to deploy the NSC vision worldwide over four years in the early 1990s. It is the most extensive application of Grove Storymapping™ to date, and the success model for much of our current work. Check out the National Semiconductor case study at The Grove’s website for further background.

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