Designing Meetings that Do More

Here are some of the needs I often hear expressed by people in organizations and netowrks of those working on social change: Our work is too ‘siloed’ – people are not aware of what others are doing. Insights or lessons learned are not well communicated so others make the same mistakes or reinvent the wheel… Read more

Presentations versus Conversations

In these times, we need ways to understand and navigate complex and inter-related challenges, such as adapting to impacts of climate change and shifting systemic patterns of racism. No one person, organization, or set of expertise can come up with the best solution or path alone – we must find ways to do “collective sensemaking”… Read more

Six Conversations that Inspire Change

Note: This guest blog post is from Katherine Golub, a professional coach and consultant with CoreBrillianceAcademy.com in Western Mass. She has been a student in Marlboro College MBA courses I teach. I was happy to see how much she appreciated this book by Peter Block, one of my favorites. Thanks, Katherine! You know those books that you pick… Read more

Strengthening Community Connections in Meeting Design

“The essential challenge is to transform the isolation and self-interest within our communities into connectedness and caring for the whole.” – Peter Block One promising area for reconnecting people in communities is the Farm to School movement. Communities across the country are implementing initiatives to increase the amount of local food served in school cafeterias,… Read more

Time to Rethink Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a classic method for getting a group to generate ideas. A topic is suggested, people speak up with their ideas and suggestions, and someone writes them down. The technique is so commonly used and assumed to work, I was surprised to learn that research shows this technique is actually not effective. Keith Sawyer,… Read more

The Meaning in Meetings

A few weeks ago, in the small talk before a meeting started, I was talking with a woman about our respective work. In reference to my work as a facilitator she said, “ugh, I couldn’t stand all those meetings!” I understand her reaction, particularly if you are used to the rather boring and tedious way… Read more

Using Events to Close Triangles

We have been experimenting with a technique to encourage and strengthen network connections at conferences. In this great blog post from our colleague, Janne Flisrand of Flisrand Consulting, she shares how it works and her experience using it at a recent conference. Janne is a network building facilitation consultant, based in Minneapolis. This is cross-posted… Read more

The Multi-Dimensional Benefits of a World Café

I recently co-facilitated a “taster” to explore a variety of ways of designing meetings to more fully engage the collective intelligence of the group. One of the techniques we explored was the World Café. About half of this group had participated in it before and here were some of their key concerns: World Café had… Read more