LGBTQ+ NGOs in China operate in very oppressive environment and sustain their momentum through the close-knit relationships they build within their community. Ms. Li Ying, a Chinese facilitator in the field of NGO development and a student of ICA Associates’ Advanced Facilitator Program, was recently invited to carry out a one-day strategy workshop for a client, a Chinese LGBTQ+ organization. The group had faced significant criticism from the LGBTQ+ community they supported for a controversial program they implemented.

The team’s morale was very low.

Before diving into strategies for the future, Li Ying thought it was important to address the challenges they had encountered. She decided to start with a journey wall exercise, also known as a historical scan. The Journey Wall is a great ToP Method to review, appreciate, and celebrate what has been achieved by a group.

First, team members added key events to a timeline, and then each marked high and low points. Interestingly, the crisis event was marked as both high and low point. The in-depth conversation that followed from this contrast of views changed the energy in the room completely. Team members developed a broader view of the incident, together, and a richer sense of meaning. Those who felt discouraged had a chance to express their feelings. While others who said they appreciate the chance to reflect and learn the lessons that would drive their work forward, despite the setback.

his conversation completely changed the energy and momentum of the team. As the facilitator, Li Ying also reflected on how the session had impacted her. “The team’s increasing momentum and rising energy and spirits also empowered me as the facilitator,” she said. “I love the historical scan, it creates miracles!” She and the team went on to do the strategy and action planning in the afternoon with a renewed sense of purpose and momentum.

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About Li Ying

Ying Li is a facilitator in the field of social empowerment and organizational development, with more than five years of facilitation experience in China and globally, and ten years of experience in the social change field.

She has worked with dozens of Chinese and international NGOs and business education groups on community empowerment, organizational development and change. Her recent collaborations include Friends of Nature, Partnerships for Community Development, Ivy Education Group, Ginkgo Foundation, Sany Foundation, British Embassy Beijing, Ashoka ChangemakerXchange, SEED for Social Innovation, and others. The topics of collaboration include SDG, community development, social innovation, environmental protection, and educational innovation. Through professional consulting design and workshop facilitation, she helps organizations unite as a team, achieve a clear understanding of their goals and issues, stimulate creativity and action from individuals to organizations, produce goals and action plans, and foster organizational transformation.

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