Web-Based-Facilitation Maturity Model

Maturity Models are useful devices for building ownership for improvement within a viable strategy of overall change.
They basically consist of a number of dimensions over which change is to take place, which represent the columns of the model, and a number of levels within each dimension reflecting different levels of maturity or proficiency. These become the rows of the model.

You can see an example of this in the coloured (non-grey) cells of the diagram below.
The value of a maturity model is that it enables you to describe utopia without requiring anybody to sign up for it (well not just yet anyway). It is a map of progress in which people are invited to identify their starting position and their next destination. In other words it provides a framework within which people can take ownership of their current performance, their next stage of development and, by inference, their improvement actions.
Maturity models provide a structure for dialogue between the improver and their coach/manager which enable practical steps toward a vision that could well be overwhelming if required from the outset. This is very useful where the virtues of the more advanced stages of development might not be easily appreciated by those at the lower stages of development until they have been enlightened in their efforts to close some of the gap.
We invite you to see how this works by reflecting on your own development in using web-based meetings using the maturity model below. (You can see more detail in it by clicking the diagram, or clicking here). Take a look at the diagram, and follow these instructions:
  1. For each column, starting from the bottom, find the uppermost square which describes your current abilities. By this we mean behaviour that you exhibit confidently whenever it is required. To mark a square as your current ability it must be totally true in all respects and evidenced in any relevant meeting. Do not be concerned if your boxes across the columns sit at different levels
  2. For each column, look above the cell you have marked, and identify the abilities which you would like to exhibit consistently, and mark this as the desired position. Once again, this can be at a different level for each column. It can also be the cell you have marked as your current position.
  3. Consider how a coach might challenge you on some of your answers, and adjust them accordingly. This is not a competition, it is simply a tool to help you think through what you want. If it is only a small thing that holds you down a row, that is an easy thing to fix and therefore a quick win in making visible progress on the chart. Equally, if they would challenge you with good reasons to adopt higher aspirations, please take that advice. Please be honest with yourself.
  4. The gap between the current and the desired cells represents the improvements you need to make. It is now simply a matter of scheduling them in.
It is easy to use a maturity model on your own, but it works better when you use it with a coach or trusted friend. It also works well with those that you are coaching/developing to help them take responsibility for their own plans.
In the diagram above, the different horizontal levels (platforms) represent pictures of progress from incompetence through to excellence; the grey plinths represent the technical foundation each platform needs to be built on; and the different coloured squares represent the skills built on each technical foundation to harness the value of meetings – they grow in intensity of colour from weak, at the bottom (relative incompetence) through to strong at the top (where they reflect a high degree of facilitative ability in each dimension).
The dotted line part way up the chart represents a transition point … below this line, virtual meetings will be largely inferior (or at best only equal to) physical meetings.  Above this line however, the available tools in virtual meetings better utilise the different dimensions of the skills people are developing, and thereby make virtual meetings able to outperform basic physical ones.
Maturity models can be created for virtually any topic. They can be created by an individual for use within a meeting, or they can be created by a meeting to track their own progress. The TBA on the top row of a maturity model reflects two things:
  1. There is no ceiling to continue to grow and develop (but there may be economics that make it impractical or undesirable (where you progress is your own choice, but it is better not to deny that choice by ignoring its existence)
  2. We may not be able to see or appreciate the true potential available until we have climbed a bit further up the ladder.

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