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ORB Visualization




2/16/2004 3:53 PM


Indiana Safe-Net

AIC Workshops



The design workshop is a shortened version of the AIC process that will be used in the full workshop. It begins the late afternoon of one day and continues for most of the next day.


It has four purposes

1.        To review the presenting purpose e.g.  “How to use the best knowledge and experiences available within the counties and combine it with the best knowledge from outside the counties, including the best of Knowledge and Social Sciences to create a very democratic, citizen centered, process of development that will achieve the highest levels of potential, at relatively low cost in a relatively short period of time

a)  The knowledge Sciences and Technology, for example offer the potential for the creation of a “Safe-Net 

b)  The Social Sciences offer new means of organizing that help turn differences between people and organizations into advantages that can help overcome the problems of stove-piping, lack of coordination, etc.

. Participants will review this purpose and recast it in terms of their own understanding, and interests, and those of the future participants. 


2.        Generate a preliminary view of the potential and realties they see for achieving their modified purpose. An assessment will be developed.  This assessment will envision the lines of action and the resources that would be required.  These lines of action and resources are preliminary in that they will need the full workshop to work on the ideas in more depth. 

3.        Generate a list of participants for the future workshop – those stakeholders from within and outside the counties who have the most influence or who will be most affected by lines of action envisioned in the previous phase.

4.        The participants then become agents of influence on behalf of the next workshop. They share the purpose, potential and realities and do their best to influence the right people to attend the workshop.


The design workshop produces an amended statement of purpose and a refined list of stakeholders.


The development of lines of action is a means to that end. These lines of action can be used as information for the workshop and in the workshop, but they do not have the status as an agenda.


The participants will work to ensure that the full workshop represents the best of the counties in every way possible, and that the workshop is marked as a significant point in the counties’ history.


Initial ceremonies, breaks lunches and dinners should be designed to celebrate the best of the counties and vicinity.


The Full Workshop


The full workshop is normally conducted over three to four days depending on how much detailed planning is desired. The purpose of the full workshop is to develop a full appreciation of the potential and realties facing the counties and its surrounding counties that each affects achievement of the purpose. It will identify priority areas for development and ensure that all participants understand the positive and negative consequences of pursuing those priorities. It will identify the lines of action tube pursued and determine the sources of funding for such activities.


Typical Schedule


Day 1 – Afternoon/ Evening

Setting the Stage






Day 2 – Morning Afternoon

Appreciating the whole Situation Past and Future










Dinner celebration, performance, stories, art etc. The counties’ past and future.






 Day 3 –Influence

Identifying and

Debating the Priorities, the Stakeholder Effects and the Options










Dinner celebration, performance, stories, art etc. Counties’  past and future.





Day 4 –Control

Developing lines of Action and Reflecting on the Degree to which they Achieve the Purpose









The AIC Organizing Process




The AIC process provides a holistic framework for organizing.   It has been derived from a long-term action research program over the last two decades, and has been successfully applied in all corners of the world.  The process can be used analytically, but the most powerful results are obtained in interaction where stakeholders come together in facilitated workshop settings.  The AIC process is simple to learn, easy to use and multiplies quickly.


The workshop setting consists of:

·            An Appreciative or policy phase in which participants explore the realities of the system as a whole, as it exists today, and what potential it has for tomorrow.

·            An Influence or strategic phase in which participants identify and explore the major factors, models and strategies to determine which will be most influential in the future and to determine the strategic relationships between the parts of the system which affect and are affected by the implementation of those strategies.

·            A Control or action planning phase in which the individual participants take personal responsibility for implementing their chosen strategy.


The role of the facilitators, in contrast to the more standard conference styles, is to facilitate the process and provide the boundaries within which a free flow of ideas is ensured and within which each participant learns to appreciate the whole system, influence the whole system and determine their individual capacity to make choices as part of the whole system.  The facilitator poses basic questions that are formulated by the participants as assignments. 


Each assignment uses three basic steps:

·            Individuals develop their own ideas and proposals.

·            Individuals share their ideas in small groups.

·            The group comes together as a whole and produces a summary report of discussions that they share in a plenary session.


The work done within the workshop environment is guaranteed, unlike other processes, to maintain momentum.  Through several iterations of the process, users adapt the model to their own style and circumstances and embed it seamlessly into their basic operational pattern.  It is a tool that is conceptually simple and elegant.  It can be practiced equally well by workers, managers or highly trained leaders.


In practice, the process is most often used for:

·            Integrating management development, organizational development, and business.

·            Designing and developing commitment to new policy directions - for single and multiple organizations, domestic and international institutions, in the public and private sector.

·            Building capacity among stakeholders to overcome conflict, to design, manage and evaluate projects.

·            Improving creativity, productivity and teamwork within and between organizations.



William E. Smith Ph.D

202 364 7209