Apex Blackboard

Services

I feel deeply honored to have group facilitation as my calling, in Frederick Buechner's sense: "Where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." My primary offerings are:

1. Process Design:  The design of an event can and should be elegant, integrated, relevant, inspiring. Whether for a training by me or for an event you are running yourself, the first step is to listen and ask questions about what your purpose is, then suggest processes and formats that might be a good fit for expressing it. I have a passion for figuring out how to create events for 12-2000+ people that are highly interactive, build a sense of community, and have a sense of aliveness at the core.

2. Organizational Design: Does the way your organization works day-to-day fulfill your intentions? People are embedded in systems that, to a considerable extent, determine their conduct. This can include everything from what conversations take place when to the physical layout of your usual space. I bring a systems approach that particularly focuses on what feedback loops are in place (that is, how a variety of types of information are received and acted upon). While recognizing that no one way of doing things is the right fit for every organization, I am especially inspired by the “teal” evolutionary practices outlined by Frederic Laloux.

3. Teaching: The aim of an ethical consultant is to work oneself out of a job, and passing skills on to others feels inherently joyful to me. My teaching goals are: (a) for participants to have a plentiful menu of options available for any situation, and (b) to help students find their own gifts and abilities within the field. I take pride in offering workshops that are consistently reviewed as lively, informative, and practical, with an emphasis on trying it and modeling over lecture. Common sessions include:

  • Consensus Decision-Making
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Planning Ahead for Fun and Success: Agenda Planning and Meeting Format Design
  • Group Works Applications (how to apply the Group Works pattern language to problem-solving, assessment, planning, and other common needs)
  • Communication Skills for Feedback and Peacemaking

I also have a commitment to bringing up-and-coming practitioners into the field, offering them opportunities for practice, support, and exposure. This may take the form of co-facilitation, inviting assistants, coaching (talking ahead about an upcoming gig or debriefing one completed), or other opportunities.

4. Facilitation:  The core of my practice for nearly two decades has been serving as a facilitator in times of need, such as:

  • Decision-Making
  • Turning Points
  • Goal-Setting
  • Visioning
  • Planning (strategic or operational)
  • Organizational Restructuring
  • Board Development
  • Multi-Stakeholder Processes
  • Community-Building Retreats
  • Big Issues

I bring genuine trust in the group’s capacity to generate collective wisdom, based on experience. Because issues rarely get stuck solely at a rational level, skillful facilitation calls for working with emotions and participants' whole selves, following the group's energy to see what is emerging and where the conversation needs to move. Rather than being beholden to any particular method, I study many in order to discern what may be helpful in a given situation. My toolbox currently includes: Appreciative Inquiry, Art of Hosting, Co-Counseling, Dynamic Facilitation , Non-Violent Communication, Open Space, Playback Theatre, Process Work, Work that Reconnects, World Café and more. I emphasize building the capacity of your group to respond effectively to future situations along with moving through present challenges.


To gain a sense of my work, in addition to the articles and handouts posted on this site, you may appreciate viewing comments and testimonials or a client list .

Fees: From 2004-2016 my consulting was conducted on a joyful value exchange basis. I am presently shifting back toward a more conventional fee structure. Please get in touch to discuss availability, rates, and any further questions.