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Community At Work

The authors of “Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making” offer a variety of courses on group facilitation skills, effective teams and consulting skills. Community At Work is also a consulting firm, specializing in group decision-making.

Our clients usually need help solving complex problems that cannot be solved by traditional hierarchical structures. For example, a number of our cases involve the delivery of community services (education, health care, transportation, housing, etc.) A common goal in such a case is to improve the working relationships among, on the one hand, the state and local government entities that fund and regulate the services and, on the other hand, the community-based organizations that provide and deliver the services. This requires meaningful participation from diverse stakeholders.

As consultants, we help the principals create a collaborative process design. Then we facilitate the involved parties to think together in search of innovative, inclusive solutions that will lead to sustainable agreements. Our clients also include large businesses that retain us to assist in planning-and-design projects that require broad participation. From the perspective of group decision-making, the principles that allow a marketing department to collaborate with a research and development department are the same principles that help government and community agencies to work together.

Thus we consult to diverse organizations, whenever our specialization can be helpful to their goals. A distinctive feature of all our work is our tendency to provide clients with training in the concepts and skills of group decision-making. Sometimes the training is conducted as a formal workshop; often it is done informally, as part of the agenda of each meeting.

About the Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making

Sam Kaner with Lenny Lind, Catherine Toldi, Sara Fisk and Duane Berger. Jossey-Bass, 2007 (first edition published in 1996).

The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making is the best available training manual and sourcebook for facilitators, managers and leaders who want to encourage full participation, promote mutual understanding, and help groups build inclusive, sustainable agreements. It presents more than 200 valuable tools and skills and places them in the context of a lucid, realistic model of the dynamics of group decision making. The Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making will help all facilitators improve their diagnostic judgment and increase their repertoire of methods and skills for supporting groups to make sounder, saner decisions.

Resource Link: www.CommunityAtWork.com

Duane Berger, Director of Client Relations



1 Tubbs Street

San Francisco



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