Human conversation is the most ancient and easiest way to cultivate the conditions for change—personal change, community and organizational change, planetary change. If we can sit together and talk about what’s important to us, we begin to come alive. ~ Margaret Wheatley
What are you looking for?
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changing the way we meet and work together
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I teach, design and host circle-based processes for groups who want to meet and work together in a more collaborative way.
I offer practices and structures for groups who want to:
Foster collaborative or participatory leadership. Create space for differences. Discover how they can more effectively work and communicate together. Create a healthier system or community. Build relationships while navigating conflict. Navigate uncertainty and possibility. Move to decision and wise action.
My work includes:
Working with groups to design and host community conversations, meetings, retreats and longer-term change and transformation projects. Teaching The Circle Way as a transformational and collaborative meeting and management process. Creating innovative conference experiences to bring more connection and authentic engagement. Co-leading Art of Hosting Participatory Leadership learning experiences.
Where this work applies
Wondering if this is for you?
Conversation-based change, participatory leadership, and collaborative decision making can be applied across diverse sectors, cultures and demographics.
You might be a leader, manager, supervisor, project leader, community group member, youth worker, educator, legal professional, board member, consultant, church leader, artist, and parent. You might be working in fields such as health care, government, the social sector, organizations, healing and trauma work, parent groups, restorative justice and social innovation.
These approaches can apply wherever you desire to meet and work together in a better way.
80% of my work happens long before the event
- Pre-event planning meetings to clarify the purpose, principles and core question.
- Help with invitation design and support, discovering who has a stake in the issue and how we can invite them well.
- Assistance with logistics and room set-up needs.
- Planning for the harvest – the artefacts that helps us make meaning and feeding it forward for desired impact.
- Designing and facilitating the sessions in service of the purpose and principles.
- A post-event debriefing to reflect on what happened and planning for the ‘what, so what, now what’ on any action plans created.
Core Processes I Use
The Art of Hosting is a highly effective way of harnessing the collective wisdom and self-organizing capacity of groups of any size. It blends a suite of powerful conversational processes to invite people to step in and take charge of the challenges facing them, and focuses on convening strategic conversations as a driver for development and change.
An ancient form of meeting that gathers us into respectful communication. Creates space for sharing story, inviting diverse thinking, encouraging creative problem solving and supports hearing every voice in collaborative decision making. It is very adaptable to a variety of groups, issues and timeframes.
Used to discover strengths and assets and how we might use them to achieve our future. Can help move a group that is stuck in “what is” toward “what could be”, and explore possibilities from a fresh, positive vantage point. Based on the notion that teams, organizations, and communities grow and change in the direction of what they study.
Used to foster interaction and dialogue with both large and small groups. Particularly effective in surfacing the collective wisdom of large groups of diverse people. Very flexible and adapts to many different purposes such as information sharing, relationship building, deep reflection exploration and action planning.
For organizing work and getting people to take responsibility for what they love. Fastest way to get people working on what matters. Useful in many contexts, including strategic direction-setting, envisioning the future, conflict resolution, morale building, consultation with stakeholders, community planning, collaboration and deep learning about issues and perspectives.
A collective, innovative methodology for hosting conversations about calls, questions and projects that matter to the people that attend. It can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of good work. Provides space for creative and action oriented conversation.
Enables us to deeply connect with and learn from the experience in our community, team or organization. This storytelling process builds our capacity for targeting listening and group learning while offering a gift to the story holders as well as the group. Group harvesting is an ideal way to surface the many insights in our stories and to take learning to a deeper level.
Harvesting and Graphic Recording
Harvesting includes making meaning of our work, telling the story and feeding forward our results so that they have the desired impacts. Can be tangible artefacts such as reports, photos, videos, graphic recording, etc. and also intangibles such as togetherness, clarity, relationships, sense of renewal, etc.