In order to better understand the impact and role of the facilitator to the LSP facilitation experience, we began by examining the philosophies of Rancière. This philosopher posits that consensus is typically expected as a result of decision-making; it represents a social arrangement of something that individuals should do. Consensus becomes a way policing, organizing, or conforming social groups, and marginalizing all those who do not comply or align with the consensual position. This is commonly how and why we as LSP Facilitators are engaged by sponsors or groups, to produce consensus, to align people with the vision of the management.
Rancière though regards dissensus as a defining characteristic of a democratic society. It is expressed in a process that allows for voices in opposition to the consensual position to be expressed and heard, commonly through artistic or non-traditional mediums. When you have dissent expressed in a strategy-making process, the ultimate strategy is better; rather than trying to erase the marginalized or dissenting voices, you provide equality to all voices and work to expand to strategy to become inclusive of those positions, therefore truly benefitting from collective intelligence. We as LSP Facilitators are in the unique position of making dissensus possible within real groups, in real time, with real applicability.
Our team of researchers wanted to observe and document the dissensus process that can be produced in an LSP workshop by utilizing a real-life experience. https://www.strategie-aims.com/events/conferences/31-xxixeme-conference-de-l-aims/communications/5410-exprimer-le-dissensus-dans-la-formulation-de-la-strategie-retour-sur-lutilisation-de-la-methode-lego-serious-play/download
An important lesson learned from this study is that as facilitators, we must be aware of our motives and philosophical position, as well as understanding the client need. Do you believe that your role is to “shepherd the sheep” and produce consensus as requested? Or do you believe that you should “rock the boat” and facilitate the conditions necessary to produce dissensus, potentially upsetting the client in the moment but ultimately strengthening the position of the organization? Or is it possible to philosophically align with dissensus but ultimately achieve some middle ground?