What’s Unique about the Center for Collaborative Policy?
The Center provides seasoned facilitators. Center practitioners regularly manage dynamic processes that involve high political visibility, powerful stakeholders, scientific and engineering complexity, and a long history of conflict. Its principals and staff embody the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and associated professional ethics. Center involvement in a process ensures balanced participation, mutual understanding, inclusive solutions, and shared responsibility for outcomes and implementation.
The Center tailors its designs to the nuanced needs of a project. Center practitioners work closely with project managers to design processes and meetings that have clear, feasible, and compelling goals and objectives. Principals will ensure that clients understand the range of facilitation approaches available, best practices in the field of dispute resolution, and key considerations for choosing when to pursue one strategy or another. Meeting materials, project management tools, and staffing packages will be customized to the specific issues, tasks, and resources involved.
The Center has extensive experience working with engineering, scientific, and regulatory communities. The Center specializes in projects that involve a high degree of technical complexity and uncertainty, including projects involving multiple, interlocking resources. Principals excel in structuring and managing rapid technical dialogue, identifying and mediating specific technical disagreements, conducting joint fact-finding, and encouraging experts to craft innovative, state-of-the-art solutions. Practitioners are also well versed in the steps, requirements, and opportunities involved in CEQA, NEPA, and numerous other state and federal regulatory structures. At the end of the day, practitioners know how to move a group to make timely, rigorous, thoughtful decisions in the face of incomplete information and political pressure.
The Center can leverage a uniquely broad and deep network of agency and stakeholder professionals. For 20 years, Center practitioners have worked on California’s most challenging natural resource, social, and emergency management issues. Principals can tap into an unparalleled network of public agency and stakeholder professionals, knowledge, and resources. This allows clients to more quickly establish trust in the process, obtain critical information that may influence the process, readily draw upon a range of participant resources, rapidly communicate key messages and updates to specific audiences, coordinate parallel efforts, and minimize stakeholder fatigue.
The Center for Collaborative Policy has identified the following five core competencies as the essential skills and attributes in which the Center's program staff need to be effective in order to carry out our mission:
- Process Design and Execution: Ability to use the tools, techniques and skills of collaboration, including:
- Public policy consensus-building;
- Public policy dispute resolution;
- Feasibility assessments for collaborative processes;
- Collaborative process design;
- Strategic planning and visioning;
- Facilitation of public discussions;
- Internal stakeholder team building;
- Technical assistance and training on policy collaboration; and
- Collaborative public participation.
- Policy Competency: Experience in and knowledge of policy issues and ability to become quickly proficient in policy areas that are the focus of the collaboration.
- Political Grounding: Understanding of the nuances of political processes, how it is relevant to collaborative processes and ability to provide strategic guidance on how to ensure beneficial interaction between the two.
- Project Management: Ability to achieve desired outcomes and to submit agreed-upon deliverables on time and within budget and to ensure high quality outcomes for clients and stakeholders in complex projects through proactive planning; effective management of time and events; team building; budget, personnel, and resource management; effective interface with clients; and provision of appropriate level of structure and direction for the initiative.
- Presence: Ability to command both small and large groups' attention; aptitude with facilitation techniques; and ability to convey complex information in a neutral, engaging manner.