School In A Box/How to organize your school
INTERNAL STRUCTURE AT AN FSS SCHOOL
The objective of this chapter is to provide your organization with the tools and necessary understanding so you can undertake to Organize Your School.
Bringing about the necessary changes and adjusting work systems represent a major part of the work of the Director of a FSS School. Thinking about how change causes disruption in an organization can be quite wearisome. Faced with this challenge, many ignore problems rather than deal with the situation. However, those that have been in organizations going through a phase of change know better.
The bottom line is that changes cause disruption and disruption in turn provokes a crisis of uncertainty and insecurity in the staff, which makes them seek new frontiers. This manual has been carefully designed to guide the director of a rural school in the process of transforming the institution into a FSS School. Great care has been taken to ensure his or her success in the process of changing the paradigm of the school while keeping staff motivated and increasing their sense of self-worth.
NOTE : From now on, “staff” or “employees” are interchangeably referred to as “collaborators”. We use this word to emphasize the fact that all of your peers including the administrative assistants, teachers, technicians and students, are collaborators who have something to add to the project.
- 1 BASIC CONCEPT
- 2 CREATING RATE A PARADIGM SHIFT
- 3 DEFINING JOB DESCRIPTIONS & RESPONSIBILITIES
- 4 EVALUATING PERFORMANCE
- 5 DESIGN YOUR OWN INCENTIVE PLAN
- 6 CONSTRUCTING A CODE OF ETHICS
- 7 A PRACTICAL METHODOLOGY FOR CREATING A CODE OF ETHICS
This section will help you adapt your school to this new model of an FSS School. You will learn how to redefine staff positions, change the paradigm of your school and transform the atmosphere within the school community.
a. Entrepreneurial spirit: the key concept
The most important element in the new model is that everyone participates equally in reaching the goal of self-sufficiency. Outside of the technical changes that need to be made in order for a school to be self-sufficient, it is important that everyone from the administration, managers, teachers and the students change their conception of the school and discover the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ within themselves.
b. What does this mean?
‘Entrepreneurial spirit’ is one of the characteristics that mark’s an entrepreneur apart from other people. It is the ability to think of and initiate a new project, business or a way of life. It requires creativity and the determination to improve your personal situation, realizing your own dreams.
There is a heated debate throughout the world about whether entrepreneurs are born or can be created. We firmly believe that it is something that can be taught at any stage of life! If we can teach our students to be entrepreneurs, we can do the same with our collaborators.
The entrepreneurial spirit in many people is like a muscle that is out of shape - once you start to exercise it, it begins to develop and grow.
c. Characteristics of an entrepreneur
It is challenging to teach the entrepreneurial spirit in a school setting, but it can be done. Students because of their youth and openness to new ways, adopt entrepreneurial attitudes and actions relatively easily if given a chance to practice them. Teachers often need more coaxing. The adoption of an entrepreneurial spirit by entire school community is essential in order to create a financially Self-Sufficient School.
When attempting to identify the entrepreneurs in your community you should look for these characteristics:
• A developed high self-esteem.
• A believer who works to find a way to realize dreams.
• A risk taker who loves what they do and will take leaps to get what they want.
• A fighter who doesn’t give up and learns from mistakes.
• An optimistic with a positive attitude in life.
• A ‘doer’ and ‘creator’
• The ability to see ones own actions and not blame external factors.
• Brings enthusiasm, energy and strength, but at the same time realism.
• They study, evaluate and take ‘calculated’ risks, but understand when the costs outweigh the benefits.
• An acceptance that there is always a lot they to learn and they go and try to learn it.
• Someone who is autonomous and independent.
• Entrepreneurs are afraid of certain things, but it does not paralyze them or stop them from moving forward.
• Entrepreneurs understand the business they are working in and if they do not understand it they are willing and able to go out and learn about it.
• Entrepreneurs are able to solve problems and when they cannot they seek out help.
• They do not demand a security proof in order to do something, as they are aware that nothing comes with such warranty.
d. Your human capitol
If developing a community infused with a strong entrepreneurial spirit represents the foundations for building your FSS School, then developing Human Capital from your collaborators will make for a solid and successful organization. These collaborators are the “infrastructure” that makes up the “human investment” that creates strength and capability within the organization.
A person who acts as an investor of his own human capital wants to invest it where it will have the largest payoff. There is no longer a paternalistic blind loyalty to the organization. It will be an interdependent relationship between the organization and the employee, wherein each person depends on the other and therefore one cannot simply take advantage of the other.
e. Changing the way you perceive your collaborators
If you see your staff as thinking proactive members of your organization you are more likely to treat them as valuable peers. If you start seeing them as investors of their own talents, capabilities, time and energy you will find new ways to attract, retain and motivate them.
f. Characteristics of an effective
1. 80 / 20 Principle
The ‘20/80 Rule’ teaches us that 20% of your work efforts will be responsible for 80% of your results. If you focus your time, energy, money and personnel on the 20% of your priorities or productive activities that really produce results, you will get outcomes you desire.
This principal put into general terms, means that 20% of our time will help us achieve or produce 80% of our results. It will also show you that 20% of the products you are producing will end up bringing in 80% of your earnings! We can continue with a long list of where this is applicable, but you will slowly see that in most areas you work with – this principle will hold fast – especially in regards to 80% of your donations coming from 20% of your donors.
If you apply this in your school you will find that you can identify the 20 % of the people most committed to the project and vision and you should invest 80 % of the time and resources of your organization to train those people.
2. Keep in Mind the Difference between Urgent and Important
When we look objectively at tasks we have that need doing, it’s normally the case that these can be divided up into the following categories:
CREATING RATE A PARADIGM SHIFT
The objective of this section is to learn how to create a plan for implementing a paradigm shift at your school.
Often as you begin to introduce change motivation levels will drop, individual’s daily routines will be different as will the results expected of them. Your staff may not be ready to accept this. It is therefore important to work closely with your school’s teachers and remind them that the administration is there to provide whatever support and help they need.
Those who understand the benefits of the change are going to be more accepting and motivated while those who accept the status quo will have a more difficult time adapting. It is therefore crucial that your collaborators thoroughly understand why a change is being implemented and what the medium and long-term benefits are for the school, themselves, and the students.
At every opportunity where changes will need to be made, make sure you get your collaborators involved in the planning process in order to obtain their “buy in”.
b. Different types of changes
There are different types of change within an organization. Some of which are daily, minor and major – but all need to be attended too eventually!
1. DAY-TO-DAY CHANGES
Changing an individual’s day-to-day activities like breaking bad habits can be challenging. However, if we can gain acceptance that a change is needed and reinforce the value of such changes consistently, we have the ability to create systemic changes. If however, we are not persistent, the change will be an isolated event.
2. IMPLEMENTING A PARADIGM SHIFT WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION
Here are a few suggested steps that should be considered when implementing a change in paradigm at your organization:
a. Vision is the ultimate goal! Try to build an actual picture in your mind where you would like to be in the future, then work on visualizing the school you want to create.
b. Ask yourself why do you want a change, then analyze the vision. Once defined, scrutinize the changes that are needed, augmented by any that have already been made and the results they achieved.
c. After analyzing you are ready to establish a plan. The plan can be created from the following considerations:
- Understanding the current ways of doing things at your school.
- Evaluate the resources available: financial, technical and organizational.
- Define a participatory plan of action and the strategies that you are going to use.
- Evaluate your strengths and your level of commitment.
d. Create Goals! What is your timeframe to reach your objectives? How much time do you have to dedicate to the initiative? Make sure you plan to move the project along at an appropriate pace.
e. Flexibility through this process is an imperative. It is likely that new ideas will be met with resistance from certain areas of school management. If your collaborators introduce ideas to you, take time to look over them and give them the appropriate feedback.
f. Go Public!! This stage is crucial. You should approach this with an understanding of the culture and forms of communication within your organization. Therefore you should choose the most effective way to make the announcement. We recommend that you do so in a clear and direct way to all of the people that work for you organization. Remember that communication also includes listening and keeping the channels of conversation open to properly understand the reaction and concerns of the people.
g. Maintaining Communication Throughout the Whole Process is vital. If you do not announce the success and the progress of the plan, the staff’s enthusiasm will wane quickly. Avoid damaging rumors, and increase morale by communicating frequently and in a timely manner the success, progress and future steps of the plan with your collaborators.
h. Collaborators who have a say in the future of a project are more likely to become committed to it and therefore work harder to reach the goal. Solicit their help in making changes. Allow them to establish their own strategies in order to complete the milestones of the project.
i. Allow staff to have fears and air them. Stop them and ask them about how they are doing and if they have any fears or concerns. Accept that fear of change is natural, but work with them to reduce the uncertainties that feed such fear.
Track & Measure the Progress Being Made: You will realize that the process will require you to follow steps along the way in order to reach the final goal. This will also help you to act immediately when actions stray from the plan and time-line. This is especially important when working with long-term goals.
3. MOTIVATING YOUR COLLABORATORS
Our work has taught us a great deal about motivating collaborators through motivational plans, activities, parties, gatherings and athletic tournaments. Here are some key areas and extra ideas of how to incentivise your staff, keeping morale and motivation high:
• There are basic elements in one’s job that leaves a person feeling good at the end of the day. This can include the challenge inherent in the job, the interest they have in their work, whether it allows for creativity, and finally the social interactions that the job provides them.
• Offer opportunities that will allow teachers to learn, develop professionally and progress within the organization. It is the possibility of increasing one’s skills and knowledge, and the potential benefits that this can bring to the individual.
• Recognition in itself is a great motivational tool! Recognition includes increased respect from peers and seeing oneself as an important part of the organization. It may also include acknowledgement from outside the organization from clients, friends, the community or other organizations.
• Making clear the incentives offered in various forms of economic compensation or benefits, particularly in connection to level of performance and production.
DEFINING JOB DESCRIPTIONS & RESPONSIBILITIES
The objective of thissection is to provide you with an overview of the different job functions required at a Self-Sufficient School.
In conventional schools the organizational hierarchy adopted and the roles fulfilled by various types of staff employed are normally fairly standard and firmly established. In FSS Schools these structures need to be adapted to take account of the school’s business activities and the role of teachers within this as entrepreneurs and production managers.
a. How do you decide on key position in your school?
First consider the positions that currently exist at your school. (Refer to Chapter 2) Balancing the positions necessary for a new type of school with the ones that already exist is your current challenge.
The administrative and managerial positions are vital to the implementation of a Self-Sufficient School model because its success is so dependent on developing a successful production / service process where quality and cost control are critical. In the shift from a conventional school to a financially self-sufficient one you are not only creating important job positions but also redefining the responsibilities and functions of current collaborators.
Before considering the creation of new positions it is important to fully analyze the positions already functioning at your school. An analysis of the current positions includes knowing the job description of each position and understanding the responsibilities and the minimum qualifications necessary to complete the necessary tasks. This analysis will help you to create job descriptions for each position in the Staff Handbook. (Refer to Chapter 2)
b. How to obtain details on job roles
1. Make direct observations
Go to the school and shadow each employee. Take note of each task they complete and how long it takes them to do it and how they do it. It allows the person conducting the analysis to understand exactly what the person does and how they do it. It is also a way to determine the maximum performance possible for that member of your staff. Our advice is that you should use this technique primarily for basic jobs and also for the work done by collaborators who cannot properly describe the work they do because of language barriers or the inability to write.
2. Conduct Interviews
Using this technique you get the information directly from the employee, this is done by developing and using a standard questionnaire. The most important element of this technique is listening and taking notes. It is also important that you ask follow up questions if you do not properly understand their response to make sure everything is clear. A benefit of this technique is that you can also discuss how to improve the position and listen to the suggestions of your collaborators.
Technical positions i.e. positions that require someone with a certain set of skills or a certain degree, are often difficult to define clearly. Allow these collaborators to describe their day-to-day work and work with them to write a concise description that together you can agree is a good clarification of the role.
3. Conduct a Survey
One can collect the necessary facts from collaborators through a well-designed survey. However to avoid misleading results we recommend that you avoid using this technique with inexperienced or uneducated collaborators. In these instances use the above technique instead.
4. Review collected information
Once you have gathered the information you need to begin analyzing it. Review each of the positions to make sure that there are not multiple people completing the same tasks. Now is the time to introduce new positions tailored to the new model, modifying and eliminating the functions that you consider contradictory to the new principles.
Below you will is a template form, which can be used to document the different job positions that exist within your organization.
Once you have conducted this meeting, you can revise the Staff Handbook discussed in Chapter 2 to take into account any suggested changes which came out of these discussions i.e which were noted under ‘Observations’ in the previous form. You can then publish the final document with a clear note as to the date it will become effective. After this, every handbook update requires the publication of a new version that will substitute the old, and include a new revision date.
The objective of this chapter is to provide you with the tools to evaluate the performance of your fellow self-sufficient school collaborators.
One thing we can learn from educators is how to incorporate an evaluation system as one of the central pillars of our work. In any education system in any country there are systems for evaluating both the student and the educator - and despite their many drawbacks they do allow for some sort of assessment of performance to be made.
Evaluating the work of your collaborators provides many advantages including the following:
• Guide you in determining your training needs
• Discovering who is key to your school and those needing to change positions
• Satisfaction (or lack thereof) of staff regards to their work. This can be used as a guide in improving people’s future performance.
• Communicating with collaborators on how well they are doing their jobs.
• Improving the results of your school’s performance
NOTE : Your collaborators expect to be evaluated; they expect that you will give them feedback on how they are doing in their work and whether it is satisfactory or not.
You may still encounter some problems when it comes time to evaluate: lack of criteria, subjective criteria, evaluator errors and reports of poor results that discourage rather than motivate those who have been evaluated. We will show you how to design a simple evaluation of your collaborators, one that is easily applied and serves as input for other processes such as incentive and training plans.
a. What aspects should be kept in mind when conducting an evaluation?
1. A SET OF CLEAR PARAMETERS
Every aspect, behavior or skill should be defined in terms of observable and measurable parameters - this eliminates the slant of subjectivity. Imagine however that you want to evaluate commitment, you can’t know how committed a collaborator is except through behaviors observable by other people. Therefore, commitment can be evaluated indirectly through behavior such as:
“Performs tasks well and on time”
“Collaborates with the team by contributing ideas”
2. CHOOSE NO MORE THAN FOUR OR FIVE COMPETENCIES FOR EACH JOB AND EVALUATE THOSE
Exhaustive evaluations that try to cover every point tend to end up being tedious for evaluators, and in most cases, the results of the evaluation don’t produce changes in staff members’ behavior. By choosing a few competencies and behaviors - the most important ones for each position - we can establish a support plan that helps the person evaluated overcome his or her difficulties.
3. CALIBRATE THE EVALUATORS
Normally it is the supervisor who evaluates the employee. Once you and your team have defined observable competencies and behaviors for each position you should “calibrate” your evaluators. That is, by means of joint sessions, everyone should agree upon the given definitions and grades of accomplishment expected. This step is very important because it helps eliminate bias due to subjectivity.
4. SET TIMES AND DATES TO CONDUCT EVALUATIONS
If your plan calls for monthly evaluations, choose a time of month when the workload isn’t so heavy. Consider that evaluators as well as those evaluated should dedicate maximum attention to this activity, so it should be undertaken calmly and not while there are urgent matters distracting you. If you set specific dates for conducting evaluations, insist that your collaborators carry them out on those dates and that they communicate the results promptly.
5. COMMUNICATE THE RESULTS IN A POSITIVE WAY
The results of an evaluation should be communicated in a meeting in which only the evaluator and the person evaluated are present. The interview should begin with delivering the positive points and acknowledgement of progress. Thereafter a discussion around aspects that can be improved, should be had in a positive manner! Your staff is investing time and skills in your organization, so evaluation sessions should focus on assessing how each collaborator can maximize the interest earned on the investment of his/her time and skills.
6. REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH THE PERSON EVALUATED
Too often evaluations end up with vague promises of improvement made by the person being evaluated. It is essential that all parties agree upon which of the evaluated capacities and abilities the collaborator will focus on improving and what actions will be taken to achieve the desired results. If the collaborator needs training, both parties can foresee what action should be taken in this regard. Whenever possible create a schedule with precise dates and times for action.
7. SET SHORT-TERM GOALS FOR CORRECTION OR IMPROVEMENT AND FOR FOLLOW-UP
The follow-up on actions taken for improvement should be performed in shorter time periods than those that exist between evaluations. If evaluations are conducted half-yearly it would be ideal to perform monthly follow-up of actions taken for improvement
8. PUT IT IN WRITING
It is good practice, when you meet to discuss the results of an evaluation to always put the results of the meeting in writing at the bottom of the evaluation form and have both the person evaluated and their boss sign the form. This establishes two important things: on the one hand, the evaluated person’s acceptance of the evaluation results and on the other hand his or her commitment to improve.
Example of evaluation form:
DESIGN YOUR OWN INCENTIVE PLAN
The objective of this chapter is to help you create an incentive or reward plan for collaborators tailored to the needs of your school.
a. How to create an incentive reward plan
Reward plans will vary according to the type of activity or operations in which the school is involved. People are the cornerstone of any organization given that it is they who make things happen and who work to fulfill the organization’s objectives. Employees offer their work, talents and creativity on a daily basis.
The differences between people’s personal and professional goals must be balanced in order to achieve success. On the one hand organizations invest in their human resources in order to reach organizational goals (production, profits, customer satisfaction, reduction of costs, etc). On the other hand the human resources of an organization work to receive compensation, benefits, security, adequate working conditions and professional development among other things.
Of all the incentives provided to employees, salary or remuneration for services is usually the most important to him or her. The objective of a reward plan is to motivate employees to increase production while lowering costs, effectively offering a share of the increased profits of an organization where the employee has surpassed a pre-established goal.
Due to the pressure that organizations face to minimize costs and increase production, many have found it beneficial to devise reward programs or incentives for their employees. These programs should however be in line with the mission and objectives of the organization.
Consider the following example:
An agricultural school is looking to boost the sales of its dairy plant, their main source of income. Even though they have a good quantity of dairy cows, they are having trouble reaching their sales target for milk.
When the head of the sales department researched the situation, he found that the problem was partly due to the fact that sales people lacked motivation to increase sales of the product because they were unhappy with their salary. They had no motivation to sell any more than they were currently selling.
So, what did the school do to change the situation?
John, one of the employees in charge of selling the products of the school, wanted to take a course on graphic design that was being offered in his neighborhood for USD 100. The only problem was that after covering his normal household expenses, his salary was not enough to cover the cost of the course. So John had an idea and he made the following proposal to the sales manager: once he reached his normal sales targets, he would sell the school’s surplus milk as well as the other agricultural products that were not being sold. In return, he asked to be paid a percentage of the gross profits of these extra sales. Manager and employee agreed on a percentage of 10%.
Profit per liter sold
Price of milk per liter 5
Cost of milk per liter 2
Sales commision paid to John 0.3
Profit per liter of milk after paying commission 2.7
How did we establish that the commission per sale is of USD .30 per liter?
1. We deducted the cost of the milk per liter from its price.
2. This gave us a result of 3.
3. 10% of 3 = 30 cents.
4. The table above also indicates the final profit per liter of milk taking into account the incentive (2.7 USD per liter).
5. So John makes 30 cents per liter sold.
How many liters of milk must John sell to pay for the course?
He must do the following calculation: 100 / 0.3= 333.33
This means that John will have to sell 334 liters of milk on top of his current sales target to afford the course he wishes to take.
CONSTRUCTING A CODE OF ETHICS
The objective of this section is to help you create an appropriate code of ethics for your self-sufficient school.
a. Why do you need a code of ethics at a FSS school?
It is necessary to establish codes of appropriate conduct to help us function within the boundaries of what is expected from the students and collaborators of FSS Schools. This is a social norm that is reflective of society as a whole needing and expecting behavioral constraints.
In any educational institution, opportunities to act unethically are always present. For example teachers can behave dishonestly during exam times or while turning in grades. Students may copy each other’s work, sexually harass classmates or damage school property. Vocational schools can be especially vulnerable to unethical behavior because they often have equipment and goods that can be stolen or sold without permission and so forth.
The existence of a Code of Ethics and a Declaration of Values can establish your school as a responsible member of the wider community. Acquiring a good reputation in your local and national community will help boost sales and the acceptance of your products.
b. Who should be involved in designing a code of etichs?
In order to have the highest level of commitment and acceptance it is extremely important to include everyone including the students - in the creation of a Code of Ethics. In the final section of this chapter, we have a practical method to assist you in the creation of a Code of Ethics.
Do not confuse the Code of Ethics with institutional or student rules. The Code of Ethics is at a higher level than institutional rules.
The scope of the Code of Ethics should include:
Relationships between co-workers and students; Ethical issues which relate to the work itself; Relationships with the institution and Relationships with the community and clients. Once you have created a final version of the Code of Ethics you should print it out in an attractive and attention-grabbing way and post it in key areas of the school. A copy should be posted in the kitchen, cafeteria, dorms, classrooms, teacher’s loungers, hallways, offices and anywhere else you deem appropriate.
When you draft the initial document you can also start to consider the consequences for those not following the code. Approval of the final Code should be accompanied by a resolution from the Director of the School that affirms the importance of the code as well as the consequences of not abiding by it.
c. What is the process of writing and implementing a codo of etichs?
Writing and implementing a code of ethics at the school is a collective process. First decide on a methodology of how to incorporate the student body, collaborators and directors in this process, and then follow some suggested steps.
1. Create a committee with a student representative from each grade to properly represent their ideas. Decide on the 10 or more most important points that cover all the necessary areas and convert them into an official document.
2. Find a time during the month when you are able stop all other activities and dedicate at least eight hours to working in a group on this project.
3. Once the committee has drafted a final text of the Code of Ethics it needs to be endorsed by the school community. This can be done through a resolution from the Director or other methods your school has in place.
4. It would be good to create a whole day of celebration or a special event around adoption of the Code of Ethics by the school community.
5. Each year a short exam needs to be administered to make sure that everyone in the community understands and accepts the Code of Ethics. The test should describe a variety of types of situations that touch upon different elements of the Code of Ethics.
6. Each new staff member should be required to pass a test on the Code of Ethics before they can start working at the school.
7. You can introduce other awards or acknowledgements that have to do with the Code of Ethics, for example a prize for everyone who receives a perfect score on the test.
8. Create a permanent committee made up of respected members of the school community to monitor the implementation and adherence of the Code throughout the school community. Establish clear consequences for not obeying the Code. Where breaches have occurred, the committee should follow through to make sure that any penalties decided upon have been carried out.
9. Establish a mechanism to guarantee that the school staff members adhere to the Code. The consequence for the staff for not abiding by the Code could range from simple fines to dismissal from the school.
10. Keep in mind national laws when developing your system of penalties. Make sure that none of the penalties proscribed break national laws. When deciding on and communicating a disciplinary action always be respectful, fair, and keep in mind national and local labor laws.
A PRACTICAL METHODOLOGY FOR CREATING A CODE OF ETHICS
1. Discuss the need to establish the values and moral norms that will guide the actions of the staff and students of the Agricultural School.
2. Receive a commitment from every member of the community to observe the institutional Code of Ethics that is derived from the opinions and decisions of the entire school community.
3. Produce a written Code of Ethics for the institution, validated by the school community
• Enough 30 cm x 10cm note cards for everyone in the group
• Green- at least 10 for each participant and a couple of extras
• Pink- at least four in total
• Yellow- at least 10 for each participant.
• Tape, to tape the cards to the wall
• A bare wall upon which all of the note cards will fit.
a.Part one: defining our value scale
a. Individual Reflection: 10 minutes
b. Group Discussion: 20 minutes
Everyone at the meeting individually answers the following question:
What are my personal values?
How do I rank these values in order of importance?
In the group discussion those who feel comfortable and would like to share their answer should do so. The leader of the session should motivate people to share their answers, and make it clear to everyone that the people are sharing their values in confidence, and the issues discussed in this meeting are personal and should not be discussed outside the meeting. All conversation and reaction should be done in a general way in order to not judge or critique the values of a particular individual who was willing to share. It is the job of the moderator to make sure that the conversation does not become about a particular person or a case but remains general.
b. Part two: what are the values that should be respected in our work and study environments?
a. Work in Pairs: 20 minutes
b. Presentation of ideas: 5 minutes per pair,
c. Discussion and consensus: 30-40 minutes
Break into pairs and discuss what the values of the institution should be and why the community should live by them. When the pairs have come to a consensus the pair should write one value per note card (on yellow note cards). The overall amount is not important, but each pair should produce at least two for each category. These are four categories:
2. With Co-workers
3. In my daily work
4. In relation to my interactions with clients of the school
The titles of these categories should be written on the pink note cards, which should be placed on the wall when this part of the meeting is about to begin, but not earlier. Once the group has reconvened each partner goes to the front, hangs their values on the wall and describes why the chose it and what it means to them.
After each group has posted their values, begin a group discussion to decide which are the most important values in each category. Remove only the note cards that everyone agrees should be taken down; it is important to work with consensus. If you cannot decide hang them up off to the side for now.
The discussion should continue until there are between three and five note cards in each category. The moderator should be involved in this process by creating his or her own cards or working in a pair.
As in Part One, it is important to avoid discussing personal issues or references. It is the job of the moderator to stop this type of conversation and bring the group back to the original discussion.
c. Part three: how do we express our values in a daily basis?
a. Work in Pairs: 20 minutes
b. Presentation of ideas: 5 minutes per pair,
c. Discussion and consensus: 30-40 minutes
Once you have created a consensus on the values of each of the work place categories, you can open up the discussion to define the conduct necessary to express these values. The methodology is identical to the above exercise. You can stay with the same partners or create new ones.
Each partner should write the ways in which one can express or live by a value on the green note cards. This should be done in a complete sentence in the first person and present tense. The pair should write three different actions or ways of expressing a value on each card.
The group discussion should function in the same way as described above. Each partner goes to the front and posts the note cards under the value they chose to define and briefly explain the actions that they came up with. Once all of the pairs have exchanged their ideas the topic is opened up to group discussion. As above, the ultimate goal is consensus. Once consensus has been reached you have established a final diagram, and the meeting is over for most of the participants - but the work of the moderator and his or her assistants has just begun...
d. Part Four: the final document
Once you have created the final diagram in the group you need to assimilate and synthesize these ideas into a final document, which should include a list of all of the participants.
The final document should be drafted by the committee comprised of a representative from each of the working groups. It should be simple. It should list and articulate the categories, values and conducts expressed by the community. At the end you can add some additional reflections from the group that will contribute to the understanding of the document. You can also include the values and conducts that the group decided not to include.
Finally, before you take the note cards off the wall you should take a photo. This picture can be included in the final document if you wish.
• It is ideal that the meeting be completed in one day, but if the discussions take longer than expected you can conduct the first two parts one day and the second two parts another day. If you choose to do this it is important that the sessions are not more than a couple of days apart.
• The main goal of the moderator is to motivate the participants to actively share their own ideas and feelings, as well as reflect on the ideas of others.
• It is important to have breaks, no longer than five minutes, in which the participants can stand-up, walk around and leave the room.
• If there are a lot of participants, more than 10 or 12 persons, it might work better to work in groups of three rather than with partners. In this case each group will have a spokesperson who will present the ideas to the rest of the group.
• It is important to remember that the most beneficial part of these meetings is the group discussion and the rationale developed to prioritize some ideas over others. Therefore the mediator should facilitate conversation.
BELOW IS A SAMPLE CODE OF ETHICS DEVELOPED BY THE FUNDACION PARAGUAYA:
| 1. I do not use or take money or other goods from the Fundacion Paraguaya or its clients. I do not use the goods or money from the Fundacion Paraguaya for things outside of my assigned work.
2. I always tell the truth and I do not conceal facts or documents.
3. The documents I present to my superiors are a proper representation of the activities that actually occurred.
4. I will not act as an accomplice to the improper actions of others. I will immediately turn in people who disobey this Code of Ethics or other rules and procedures of the Fundacion Paraguaya.
5. I respect and defend the physical and moral integrity of my co-workers and subordinates by avoiding verbally or physically violent conduct, sexual harassment, coercion, humiliation etc.
6. I do not discriminate against my co-workers, students at the Agricultural School or clients based on sex, age, ethnicity, religion, political preferences, sexual orientation etc.
7. I complete my assigned tasks.
8. I refuse absolutely money or any other form of gifts from clients or suppliers of the Fundacion Paraguaya.
9. I do not disclose confidential information from the Fundacion Paraguaya, students of the Agricultural School or other clients.
10. I avoid any relationship, professional, economic or personal, with clients of the Fundacion Paraguaya, including students at the Agricultural School, outside of my work with the Fundacion Paraguaya.