“We use consensus… but vote if we can’t agree”

Many non-profits I work with claim they make decisions using consensus… “unless we can’t agree and need to move on, then we vote.”

I highlight that they are not really making decisions by consensus–they are using majority rule and should clarify that in any decision-making policies and procedures.

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Facilitator = Architect, Pilot, Guide & Harvester

People often ask me what a facilitator does. They get the part that it is like chairing a meeting. But they have a harder time understanding the other critical aspects of effective facilitation.

This short video does a good job at summarizing the dimensions of a facilitator’s role as part architect, pilot and guide.

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A Good Question!

Crafting a question for a gathering to explore isn’t as simple as it might sound.

I strive to find a question (or two) that will help participants explore the depth of their topic, a question that will get at the collective wisdom of the gathering, a question that challenges people to think differently. Ideally, I […]

Final Stepping Stones: Structure, Practice, and Harvest

In two previous postings, I began discussing “The Chaordic Stepping Stones” developed by Chris Corrigan. I described the six of nine stepping stones: need; purpose; principles; people; concept; and limiting beliefs.

This posting discusses the last three steps which offer the opportunity to start adding colour and texture to the general shape that has been […]

The Middle Stepping Stones: People; Concept; and Limiting Beliefs

In my last posting, I referred to a guide for planning I have been using in the last couple of years: “The Chaordic Stepping Stones” developed by Chris Corrigan. In that earlier posting, I described the first three of nine stepping stones: need; purpose; and principles.

This posting outlines the middle three stepping stones: people; […]

First Stepping Stones: Need, Purpose, Principles

It has been two years since I participated in the “Art of Hosting” workshop on Vancouver Island, an event that provided new inspiration, ideas and tools.

One tool I have come to appreciate time and time again is Chris Corrigan’s “Chaordic Stepping Stones”. (Chaordic refers to a system that is simultaneously chaotic and orderly).

In […]

Polishing stones

In his book “Power and Love”, Adam Kahane talks about the importance of creating a strong ‘container’ that will serve to draw out the collective intelligence of a group. Kahane quotes Crane Stookey’s metaphor of a stone polisher:

“The image that best describes this principle is the stone polisher, the can that turns and tumbles […]