One of my first facilitation experiences was co-facilitating a Jadding session in a large oil company where I was a corporate trainer. JAD stood for Joint Application Development – a fairly new process at the time that engaged the client or end user in the design and development of computer applications. It was my first taste of facilitating a process rather than delivering a training program, and I loved it.
One of the models we explored was Predictable Tensions between the priorities and interests of units and centralized corporate groups:
The model, although simplistic, struck me as the Yin and Yang required for effectiveness, opposite but complementary energies. The model helped depersonalize conflict by helping groups “walk in each other’s shoes”. Groups could confirm or revise their priorities, using the generic list as a starting ground. But most importantly, it gave a language for groups to reach common ground.
I have used the Predictable Tensions model with:
- Head Office and Field Groups
- Corporate Functions like HR, Finance, IT and Communications and their internal customer groups
- National or provincial associations and their local offices
In all cases, it has helped surface unmet expectations, provide insights about conflict, and pave the way to more effective working relationships.