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

The Art of Participatory Leadership

I had the opportunity to participate in a gathering called The Art of Participatory Leadership, which is defined as “an intensive 3-day event where you experience and practice a set of simple, yet powerful, processes for building community, facilitating powerful conversations, building strong partnerships, and leading change.” While I have experienced several of the approaches… Read more

Quick Way to Map Who Is in the Room

When bringing together a new group, you want to help people make new connections. A good place to start is to offer ways for them to find out who is in the room. Here is one quick technique that can be done to facilitate this. We facilitated the introductory session the the UNH/NHBSR three-day business sustainability… Read more

Enough Boring Meetings – A “Taster” to Explore the Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter

“I hate boring meetings!” was the way Madeline Snow from UMass Lowell explained her passion for the Art of Hosting and its techniques for convening conversations that matter. She facilitated the September meeting of the Leadership Learning Community’s Boston Learning Circle where participants had the opportunity to experience a “taster” trying out several techniques including… Read more

Enliven Your Conference Design with a Network Mindset

The way we gather and convene people can be a metaphor and an experience of what community and networks can be. Traditional conference designs leave most of the participants listening to speakers most of the day vs. interacting with each other or discovering the latent collective intelligence in the room. Often the most energizing productive… Read more

Setting the Table for a Great Meeting

A key part of our work at New Directions is collaborating with our clients to design agendas that lead to great meetings. Developing strategic clarity is the foundation of the fine art of agenda design. Getting to this strategic clarity is an iterative process best done in conversation. As I save and rename an agenda… Read more

An Iterative Approach to Network Design and Development

We have recently had the pleasure of working with the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance (MSGA) as they design a Great Neighborhoods Network. The Alliance’s Great Neighborhoods initiative seeks to build a movement to transform the built environment, creating great places around the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Significant work has been done to create partnerships and goals… Read more