Group Works

A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings

Why is it that some meetings bring life to your soul, while others leave you wishing you’d never stepped in the room? What happens at the best ones, that makes them productive, fulfilling, sometimes even magic?

In addition to considerable client work, Tree’s experience also includes founding and stewarding the Group Pattern Language Project, collective nonprofit publisher of Group Works: A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings. This project drew together more than 50 experienced facilitators to distill the core wisdom of healthy group dynamics. The findings were published in the form of a 100-card deck, forging a tool that convenors and groups use for purposes such as planning an event, reflecting afterward, assessing skills and gaps, bringing energy and spirit to sessions, and more. The content deliberately aims at a middle ground: more specific than values, less specific than tips and techniques, cutting across existing methodologies to name patterns that repeat.

Since publication in 2011, Group Works has been acquired by thousands of people around the world. Users in dozens of countries have purchased printed copies of the English edition, while autonomous teams abroad have translated it into Spanish, French and German. This labor of love is released under Creative Commons license. Visit the Group Works website for access to a free download of the cards; a version for iPhone; translations into French, Spanish, and German; videos; and other resources supporting a community of practice around this beautiful creation.

View GroupWorks Website

Group Works in use at Alex Grey’s in NY. Photo by Delvin Solkinson.