What to do about power differences?

In a collective vision creation process there will almost always be participants of varying status. Power differences can disrupt the creative process.

Equalising power differences

How can you equalise power differences?

  • Invest in ‘training' for the participants, not only for the least powerful participants but also for those with greater power.
  • Choose the chairperson and project manager carefully. The chairperson should preferably not be chosen from the most powerful party
  • Select participants from powerful parties for their openness to the arguments and interests of less powerful parties
  • Devote a lot of attention to team building and establishing trust between the participants
  • Leave room and provide settings for informal meetings (for example, a joint excursion)
  • Organise joint meetings at locations that are inviting and inspiring for all the participants.

Power differences as a reflection of structure

Power differences between participants are a reflection of the existing structure. They are therefore a sign of structural obstacles to transition, which you may also encounter later in the process.