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About ToP®

The Technology of Participation (ToP®)

Federal, state, and local public agencies are increasingly called to have open and transparent planning processes and to be inclusive and collaborative in their work. ToP® methods, originally developed 50 years ago, have been used successfully by all levels of government and are especially useful in cross-agency collaborations and dealing with complex issues.

ToP® Methods are effective:

  • Take less time, are more productive, and engage the creative spirit of participants.
  • Honor the diversity and integrate the contributions of all involved. Bring disparate opinions to consensus quickly and respectfully.
  • Deal with more data in less time.
  • Create clear goals, open lines of communication, broaden perspectives and inspire people to adapt to their changing environment.
  • Create high levels of participation in the decision-making process. Participation generates the spirit of commitment and follow-through. It moves people from disinterest or simple buy-in to ownership of decisions, strategies, plans and activities.
  • Lead participants in deep reflection that elicits ongoing learning and continuous improvement.

ToP® Methods are very useful in a variety of situations:

  • Used alone or creatively combined and adapted, they serve as powerful tools for groups to think and work together in productive ways.
  • Can be scaled to work with virtually any size group.
  • Can easily be customized to meet your needs.

ToP® Trainings are cost effective:

  • Equips participants with the skills needed to use ToP® methods. 
  • The material presented has immediate usefulness, the techniques and examples are relevant to the learners’ lives.
  • The training environment is welcoming so that all feel safe to participate.
  • The presentations are engaging and participants have ample opportunity to share their experiences, wisdom and ideas.
  • Each training has demonstrations, opportunities for practice, regular feedback, and time to plan how to use the training in their work lives.
  • Each training has a complete training manual.
  • Participants leave ready to use the techniques.

Who should take ToP® Facilitation Courses?

ToP® Training is for anyone who leads groups and is responsible for the successful development and implementation of organizational strategies and plans. This includes executives, supervisors, managers, team leaders, professional facilitators, consultants, training professionals, educators, health practitioners and concerned citizens.

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