The Art of Hosting (AOH) and Harvesting Conversations that matter, also known as Participatory Leadership , is an approach to leadership that scales up from the personal to the systemic using personal practice, dialogue, facilitation and the co-creation of innovation to address complex challenges (AOH website).
It uses a range of powerful methodologies to harness the collective wisdom and self organising capacity of groups of any size; fostering committment and ownership from participants and getting results.
Participatory Leadership is more than a set of methodologies, it is an ongoing practice. It is an art to host a conversation well so that participants experience learning, the exchange of ideas, are able to offer resources and co-create innovation.
It is based on the assumption that people give their energy and lend their resources to what matters most to them; in work as in life. Participatory leadership offers processes that invite people to step in and step up to take charge of the challenges which face them.
The methodologies and practice have a particular synergy with community development practice as they create space where;
- we can engage with people where they are at
- power is diffused
- we can learn and grow together
- we can co-create solutions
- there is space to share stories
- there is opportunity to build relationships
- we can harness the collective wisdom of the group
- we can create spaces for listening
- we can create spaces for action
Some core participatory leadership methodologies and information related to them include:
- The Art of Powerful Questions
- World Cafe
- Open Space Technology
- Proaction Cafe
- Designing for Wiser Action
- Collective Story Harvest
- The Art of Harvesting