Here is a little diagram of the chaordic stepping stones mapped onto Sam Kaner’s Diamond of Participation. This is a pretty geeky Art of Hosting map, but essentially it describes the way planning unfolds in practice.
The chaordic stepping stones is a tool I use to do a lot of planning. These nine steps help us stay focused on need and purpose and design our structure and outcomes based on that. the first four steps of Need, Purpose, Principles and People are essential elements for the design of an invitation process. Getting clear on these steps helps us to generate purpose, questions and an opening for good participatory process to flow.
The next three steps of Concept, Limiting Beliefs and Structure help us to think about how we will organize ourselves to hold space for emergence. This becomes especially important in the Groan Zone, the place where a group is struggling with integration of ideas, diversity and creativity and where they feel lost and tired. Good process helps us to hold a group together through that struggle.
The last two steps, Practice and Harvest, help us to shape our outcomes, create a process for impact and create useful artifacts and documents of our learning process that can help others to continue the conversation.
The chaordic stepping stones are a design tool, meaning that we think through all of them at the outset of an initiative, and refine them as circumstances change. This diagram shows how they become active through the life of a process.