ROLES IN A CPS SESSION
1. THE CLIENT (THE SITUATION'S OWNER)
The client is the person (or group) that owns the
content - the problem, situation, issue or opportunity.
The client shares
background data, selects the resource group (see below),
and participates as an active member of the resource
group. The client also works closely with the facilitator,
to guide the facilitator's process decisions.
The client is ultimately responsible for the outcome
of each process phase, as it is the client who applies
critical thinking to the generated options, who decides
when a convergence is complete, and who selects the options
to carry forward.
For CPS to be effective, the client must have ownership
of the issue (that is, the right and the ability to address
the problem); must be motivated to take action (otherwise
the process results are wasted); and must welcome imaginitive
thinking (or else CPS is the wrong process to use).
2. THE RESOURCE GROUP (THE BRAIN TRUST)
The resource group participates in a CPS session,
and provides their time, ideas, energy, fresh perspectives,
and personal insight.
The resource group is selected
by the problem owner, and can include people who are
directly involved in the issue, who are tangential
to the issue, or who have no stake in the issue but who
are able to contribute valuable thinking, experience,
and perspectives. The problem owner also serves as a
fully-participating member of the resource group.
3. THE FACILITATOR (THE PROCESS EXPERT)
The facilitator is the CPS process expert, who guides
the client and the resource group through the process,
based in the client's needs and desires. That is, the
facilitator makes process decisions (where to enter the
process, which tools to use, when to move to another
stage, etc.) while in constant consultation with the
While the problem owner or other interested party can
serve as the CPS process facilitator, we recommend that
a neutral party serve as facilitator. The reason: to
separate process from content.
The problem owner and the resource group should have
all of their focus and energy on the content: on
the problem itself and its solutions. The facilitator
should have all of his or her focus on the process: on
managing the use of CPS to address the content and
the needs of the problem owner. The best facilitators
stay completely out of the content.
A facilitator who is also a group member must balance the two roles of managing the process while also contributing to the content. The secret to success in that situation is for the facilitator to not let his/her role as facilitator to become a proxy for being the leader in the content areas as well.
Here are some choices: