Facilitation

Cognitive biases: how the mind skews reality

Decades ago scientists didn’t know that the brain’s neural pathways can keep growing. Now they understand neural networks play a key role in lifelong learning. Meanwhile, behavioral researchers have been studying how the human mind approaches decision-making, with findings that cast light on the cognitive biases that are nearly hard wired.

The upshot of these discoveries?

We […]

By |May 14th, 2020|Facilitation, Leadership|0 Comments

Three reasons to ditch strategy reports

Strategic planning without reams of strategy reports? Sounds like heresy.

What would people do without documented research, colorful graphs, proof of deep and thoughtful dialog and a detailed plan to move forward?

Well, what do you do with it? (Hint: file it, toss it, circulate it or extract sections to help make a point.)

In reality, most strategy […]

By |February 27th, 2020|Facilitation, Innovation, Leadership|0 Comments

Transformational teamwork

This story of transformational teamwork begins three weeks ago when I was the only person standing between a roomful of professionals and the start of their Labor Day weekend. We were at the Oregon coast for a team retreat, tackling five distinct topics.

Under the circumstances I was impressed to see nobody drag their heels. Nor […]

By |September 17th, 2019|Facilitation|0 Comments

Invisibly lead a room

Can a facilitator be effective if they’re invisible? I don’t mean literally, of course. But in the sense that their touch is so light you barely know they’re there.

It depends.
When less is more
I recently led a meeting in a beautiful conference room at Mill City Museum in Minneapolis. A 12-person council gathered to kick off […]

By |July 29th, 2019|Facilitation, Leadership|0 Comments

Who’s doing your thinking?

Who’s doing your thinking? You think you are. True enough, it’s your neurons firing off. But first, consider the way that other people’s thinking led you to where you are today. All your studies in school. All the norms you picked up from family and society. Then, start noticing how other people’s thinking literally shapes […]

By |May 31st, 2019|Facilitation, Innovation|0 Comments

Collaborative leaders shine

Observing what makes collaborative leaders effective when they step forward in a group never ceases to amaze me. Are they the ones with big job titles? Often not. Emotional intelligence in collaborative undertakings matters more than authority.

A collaborative leader, with a single gesture, can resolve inadvertent voids created by others on the team. Sometimes it […]

By |February 12th, 2019|Facilitation, Leadership|0 Comments

Nine traits of collaborators

Before defining collaborator traits that can make any group’s effort much less effortful, an obvious truth is worth naming. No one has to collaborate. It’s not a mandatory part of life. Collaboration is a choice, an act of free will. An individual’s motivation usually ties to their personal or professional goals. I want to get […]

By |January 22nd, 2019|Facilitation, Leadership|1 Comment

Breakthrough via collaboration

Throughout history people have been motivated to band together. To build villages, trade and barter, rebel against injustice. And, create. Today there’s debate about whether collaboration is wearing out ambitious professionals in matrixed organizations. Fair enough. Coordinating with others can take longer than making decisions on your own, and an excess of meetings, especially if […]

By |December 26th, 2018|Arts & culture, Facilitation, Innovation, Leadership|1 Comment

Ask beautiful questions

Solutions are nice. Questions are better. The quality of our questions shapes not only the answers available to us, but our entire life. Asking great questions will change a person’s trajectory.

If you want to get to the root of any tough situation, you’ll ask hard questions, the ones you’d rather avoid because you instinctively know […]

Marco Polo: close or far?

Podcasts and pool games. Do they have anything in common? I stumbled on one commonality when I listened to a recent episode of the Slate Political Gabfest, one of my favorite weeklies. David Plotz hosts with regulars John Dickerson and Emily Baselon. Every few months they stage a live audience conundrum show. December’s included participation […]

By |February 28th, 2018|Continuous Improvement, Creativity, Facilitation|0 Comments