There are times whe the facilitator is necessary, but at some point the Rhino must let the participants continue on their own or risk destroying the project just as surely as if they left the conversation too soon. Although I suggested above that it is necessary that the facilitator not leave the process too soon, it is also necessary that the mental model of the facilitator not limit the ability of the willing to engage in ways that may not be aparent to the facilitator.

Examples of when the framework becomes too limiting to engagement include Janis’ (1972) groupthink and, when a system determines behaviour, being stuck in a system. The importance of creativity is something I've experienced while in many of the same engagements that stress the need for facilitation.

In order to balance the control that the archetypal facilitator wields, there is need for creativity, the ability to cast aside the limitations of the facilitation framework. On the continuum from control to chaos, the willing Rhino is counterbalanced by the archetype of the willing Monkey. The Monkey is named after the “monkey-wrenching” tactics they often employ without malice, representing a creative mode of thought.
Placing the archetype of the Monkey results in this diagram:

Figure 7. The creative principle

Figure 7. The creative principle

The Rhino-Monkey pair represent not just archetypes of dialogue, but also paradoxically related paradigms. Rhino is linear thinking, or de Bono’s (1967, pp. xiii-xiv) “sequential” and “strategic” thinking, Monkey is lateral thinking, or de Bono’s (op. cit.) “insight thinking.” The transition from Rhino to Monkey is one from an evolutionary, linear, to revolutionary, lateral, paradigm. The move from an evolutionary paradigm to a revolutionary one requires a discontinuity (Boga, 2004), which correlates to the difference between 1st and 2nd order change (Watzlawick, et al, 1974, pp. 10-11).

Recognizing this relationship, it may be useful to remember that when I introduced the Giraffe and Jackal as archetypes, I suggested that they were also paradigms of thought. The Giraffe is a mode that represents community formation, the Jackal represents individuation. This correlates the Giraffe and Jackal as opposing paradigms, of cohesion and of individuation respectively.

Posted by John Bell on December 10, 2006
Tags: The Fifth Principle of Dialogue

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