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Consensus Building Methods & Tools

Consensus Building: Changing Minds to Reach Agreement

For a diverse group to reach consensus, at least some of the participants – perhaps all of them – have to change their minds. They come into the room with differing, often fundamentally conflicting ideas about the challenges they face. They likely disagree on how to define problems, technical methods that should be used to […]

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Change Management Open Government

The Open Government Directive & Changing Federal Culture – 2

As a mediator, I have this annoying habit of taking all sides of an issue seriously. Further, as a colleague once put it to me, people in our line of work need to combine optimism about outcomes with cynicism about motives. So I thought I’d offer doses of both in looking at the brighter and […]

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Methods & Tools Visualization

The Back of the Napkin: New Approaches to Visualizing and Communicating Ideas

[HTML1] As I discussed in the last post, effective visual presentation of technical data allows collaboration participants to understand and remember information quickly and efficiently. Visual explanation is just as important in conveying key concepts that guide a group in defining its goals and creating options for consensus agreements. In recent years, several masters of […]

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Collaborative Governance

Community Collaboration: Air Quality Resource Teams

This video, from Policy Consensus Council and Community Focus, depicts a community collaboration program established by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in 1991. The program created Air Quality Resource Teams in each of the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area, all of which continue to operate. Consisting of representatives from community […]

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Collaborative Leadership Conflict Resolution

Implementing Agreements: The Ordeal of Change

The real test of a collaborative agreement only begins when the changes it requires hit the streets. That’s when it gets personal. Carrying out an agreement usually means that particular people will have to do things differently, pay costs they’re not used to paying, live with new restrictions, new requirements. The negative side of change […]

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Change Management

Resistance to Change

I’ve been following some excellent posts about resistance to change initiatives, such as those at Holger Naumeier’s Change Management Blog and Jack Vinson’s Knowledge Jolt with Jack. The context of these discussions is organizational change management, but there are interesting parallels with the field of public policy consensus building. Change is a key dimension of […]

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