Fostering a Nonprofit Culture of Courage

When working with nonprofit agencies on strategy, I often find myself making four principle statements — Be authentic, be intentional, be large, and be radical.  I find myself repeating these principles because in this continuing anemic economic climate, many nonprofits are still operating out of a conservative posture.  Strategy is often focused on preserving core […]

The Big Ideas: Checking the Authenticity of a Strategic Plan

One of the dominant themes in my blog posts this year has been outlining dimensions of nonprofit strategy and, in my conversations with clients and potential clients, strategy is still the major theme.  A question that I have recently been pondering was asked by a colleague who had just gone through a strategic planning process.  […]

Facilitating for Organizational Learning

In recently discussing a potential large-scale facilitation with a client, I found myself drawing from the foundations of performance improvement and empowerment education to help frame the project. At first, the client was jumping ahead to facilitation methodology as I was still trying to wrap my head around the process.

Facilitating Nonprofit Technology Planning

For the last couple of decades, technology has been advancing at a breakneck speed, with each generation of technology continuing to reinvent, if not make obsolete, the previous generation.  At the personal level we now enjoy expanded communications, near real time sharing of our lives though social media, and digital tools that allow us to […]

Five Principles of a Solution-Focused Facilitation Process

. In my consulting I have made it a practice to discuss with clients my philosophical approach and the foundational theories that I use to in facilitation.  I find this is often time well spent because it helps to create a shared space for our working relationship. One “shared space” discussion that is important to […]

Using Taxonomies in Facilitation

If you have been following this blog, you likely already know that my goal is to move beyond “Facilitation 101” and focus on the deeper context of facilitation, which I believe is the ability to connect people, technology, and process in ways that create performance improvement.   It is my belief that the traditional view of […]

Managing Documentation: A Key Facilitation Skill

. I once served on an advisory group process that spanned a number of months and consisted of a steering committee, a workgroup, three subcommittees and a couple of ad hoc committees.  I was not the facilitator but a participant and as the weeks unfolded, I found myself increasingly frustrated by the lack of process […]

Facilitating a Reflection Process

This post focuses on reflection as a Facilitation Technique and is part of a series on facilitation skill-building. Recently I was asked to facilitate a meeting that was designed to be a reflection on the first year of implementing a new strategic plan.  The goal of the meeting was to think about the progress made over […]

Facilitating Knowledge Creation & Management

. As groups and teams work together on planning or performance improvement initiatives there is often a secondary agenda of creating and capturing knowledge. So, for example a healthcare team wanting to improve patient services might meet to develop a series of rapid cycle tests using the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PSDA) model. While the […]

Visual Learning In Facilitation

Have you ever encountered a facilitator whom over the course of a meeting wrote down lots of words on easel-pad paper, filled up the wall space with page after page of notes and at the end of the meeting simply transcribed the notes into a word processing document or worse, never captured the content at […]