Facilitation Work as a Cover-Up
Updated: Mar 25, 2022
I was shown in a facilitation learning event a short video clip. It is about a retreat for 50+ people in an organisation design and facilitated by a facilitator It is the kind of upbeat video with delightful music which showed the smiling faces, colourful wall-charts, fun activities, etc. There were captions indicating how much the participants happily connected, enjoyed the event, praised about the organisation, etc.
A big question mark came to my mind after I watched the clip - “What really did the event do to the organisation?” I asked for the objective statements and have to say that the event seemed to meet the objectives e.g. ‘to have a fun, engaging, high energy day’ There were probably also ‘practical outputs’ contributing to the organisation’s strategy and purpose.
But from the clip (and in particular its mood), I questioned whether the event is actually a cover-up to any organisational issue. Is it actually a dis-services to the organisation?
This post is not a critics to this piece of work. In fact, if it is a critics, it is a critics to myself. I have done similar events producing lot of fun and energy, and lot of flipcharts with long list of bullet points. Well, those events produced what the sponsor wanted… sometimes perhaps exactly a layer of cover-up. But is it what the organisation needed? How much I should and can push the sponsor to spend the resources on addressing the issues under the cover-up?
Well, this is very much related to the last post re my reflection on collusion.