Design Thinker

A Facilitator’s Profile is Much Like an Innovator’s Profile (Design Thinker)

“Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need weird shoes or a black turtleneck to be a design thinker . . .” so goes the article from Harvard Business Review June 2008 (pg 87). The author suggests five characteristics found in design thinkers (ie, innovators) that relate uncannily to core competencies required for effective facilitation.  Included…


How Experience and Qualifications Amplify the Fallacy of Planning (i.e., “Overconfidence”)

Research by Ana Guinote and Mario Weick shows that people in positions of power are particularly ineffective planners. People who feel powerful focus on getting what they want and ignore the potential obstacles that stand in the way. Here is the fallacy of planning: the planning efforts of powerful people rely frequently on “best case…

Stimulate the Senses

The Positive Psychology of Chenille Stems: How to Make Everything Seem Easier

If you seek innovation and breakthrough during your group meetings or workshops, do not clone yourself. Constantly strive to blend and mix various ingredients and participants. Prepare to keep all of your participants stimulated. We call it the “Zen” of the experience—that is appealing to all the senses to stimulate and maintain vibrancy, including chenille…

Illustrative Context Diagram

Context Diagram – A Consensually Built Picture Can Resolve a Thousand Arguments

Most of us have heard that a picture tells a thousand words. Consensually built pictures, especially around complex topics and interactions, can be used to help solve and resolve a thousand arguments. We are reminded by the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis) Quick Tip Bulletin #58 about the value of one picture type, called…

14 Typologies to Avoid

14 Facilitator Typologies to Avoid (Humorous, Although Uncannily Real)

Here is a quick and somewhat humorous listing of fourteen different facilitator typologies or “personalities” you might seek to avoid. Our favorite is “The Pretender.” The “I Can’t Hear You” Guy— The facilitator who refuses to listen, probably because they are too busy analyzing, judging, and processing information. The Blabber— The facilitator who loves the…

Facilitating Kum-Bay-Yah Decision-Making Matrix to Guide Selection of Structured Facilitation Tools

For-Profit Meetings Requires Structure Not Found in Facilitating Kum-Bay-Yah

Facilitating business requirements captures substantially different challenges than facilitating Kum-Bay-Yah community forums and other volunteer-based meetings. While active listening serves both scenarios, decision-making that supports most business initiatives differs from win-lose voting methods. Frequently, business facilitators are not seeking agreement, rather harmony. The difference follows. Agreement suggests that everyone is singing the same note, perhaps even…

Ice Breaker Tip

IceBreaker TIP — Newspaper or Magazine Headlines about Accomplishments

This is one icebreaker TIP from our collection of practical tips, tools, and techniques. Our tips are gathered from our experience, training classes, and alumni contributions. IceBreaker Tip One: Warming Up A Group This icebreaker tip is useful for people that are unfamiliar with each other, or for familiar groups that need some new dimension…

Change Management

Seven Top Skills for Managing Change in an Enterprise or Organization

To improve or enhance your personal capacities and to help you understand what skills to seek in others that support effective change, we have isolated seven top skills for managing change. These skills are those most frequently identified by employers according to Syracuse University public-affairs professor Bill Coplin, author of “10 Things Employers Want You…

Facilitating Kum-Bay-Yah Decision-Making Matrix to Guide Selection of Structured Facilitation Tools

Guidelines for Selecting Appropriate Structured Facilitation Tools

Facilitators rely on hundreds of tools to gather information, support decision-making, encourage innovation, build camaraderie, strive for higher quality, or guide a facilitator through an unplanned pathway.  Therefore, your selection of the “best” structured facilitation tools depends on many factors. A note of caution—beginning facilitators often have a difficult time feeling comfortable because of the…

Scenario Planning Support

National Intelligence Council Support for Facilitating Scenario Planning

The FAST Professional Advanced Facilitative Leadership training covers a methodology and explains the need for facilitating scenario planning. Therefore, if you find yourself in that role, consider purchasing the USD$2 Kindle version of “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” to support your methodology and preparation. Future Scenarios For instance, Robert Moran’s excellent summary can be found…