Facilitating an Away Day for Railfuture
In 2014, I was asked by Roger Blake and Chris Page of Railfuture, a nationwide rail users lobbying organisation, to help them tackle a crisis. They were facing falling membership numbers and an increasingly disaffected volunteer group. They needed someone to come in and facilitate an away day with members to identify the underlying issues and agree a way forward.
After attending a meeting to observe behaviours, I sat with Roger and Chris and outlined some suggestions and we agreed a plan of action for the away day. I had witnessed a lot of pent up frustration at the meeting and I wanted to give the attendees a chance to speak their mind, so we started the away day with a frank and open discussion about the state of Railfuture before starting to look at possible solutions for addressing the falling membership numbers. I used a technique designed by Edward do Bono called “Six Thinking Hats” to capture new ideas. It is a technique that allows people to be creative in a safe environment and it was very successful at allowing the members to be innovative and honest.
I was pleased that the attendees of the meeting welcomed the different approach and embraced the opportunity to be be positive.