Archive for the 'events' Category

Feb 11 2014

Liberating Structures for Knowledge Sharing

Last Friday I was lucky to be the Mid Atlantic Facilitator’s Network February speaker. Of course, instead of talking about something I was totally comfortable with, I decided to explore the application of Liberating Structures to knowledge sharing, AND to explore the use of the structures in an online “webinar” environment. Nothing like jumping off the bridge. But the water was wonderful. I owe a lot to the hosting team (thanks Dana and Fran), the daring participants who were willing to push their use of Adobe Connect a bit further than normal, and the support of the wider LS community of users.

Here are the cleaned up slides. I included cleaned up versions of the chat transcripts in the respective “harvest” slides (which started out blank).

We are building a nice bunch of people who want to experiment more with Liberating Structures online. If you are interested, check out our LinkedIn group and join us!

via Liberating Structures for Knowledge Sharing.

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Sep 11 2013

A Focus on Online Facilitation During International Facilitation Week

peterblockquestionTim Bonneman blogged yesterday about the International Association of Facilitators “International Facilitation Week.” He pondered…

I wonder if anyone is planning any events related specifically to online facilitation.

I started to comment on Tim’s blog, but realized the length of my response suggested I blog here and link back, so here goes…

Hiya Tim,

I think this is an excellent idea and, alas, for me, the timing sucks. I have put a red line on my to do list promising myself not to bite of anything else. (I’m doing an action research project on how to usefully evaluate the socio-technical stuff associated with organizations’ “collaboration platforms!!” And yes, i bit off WAY more than I should have! See this previous post)

But I think your idea is really good and that there is a network of people out there that would benefit from a week of distributed connection, learning and reflection.

Online facilitation practice has  diversified since I jumped in in 1996. Some of those sub areas have matured. For example, the practices around “online community management/facilitation” have had great stewardship by folks such as the Online Community Roundtable (Shout out to Rachel Happe and friends) and others, and there have been really interesting developments in the facilitation of learning online (see Tony Carr’s work and kudos for pulling together some seminal work around facilitation of learning at University of Cape Town in South Africa). There new generation of online community people who are (re)discovering practices us old timers used back in the early online facilitation days, and adapting and expanding them in new ways and for new contexts.

The proliferation of tools, particularly tools that enable connection outside of bounded groups (such as Twitter, Facebook, and previously the emergent networks that were formed BETWEEN blogs and commentors) has led us to an era that is not just about online group facilitation, but online network stimulation and facilitation. June Holley’s work in network weaving (which to me is still a lot about bounded groups but working in unbounded spaces) is an example.

These tools have also greatly expanded the possibilities of dispersed collaboration, but  I have to say, this seems like an area where a few have succeeded (some wildly) and many have been left with grand dreams that turned to empty promises. I think this is because we are talking about facilitating both between people and between organizations and their politics, policies and structures. So we have a blend of facilitation and organizational development, if you will.

So the field is rich for reflection and ripe for dreaming.

Nancy

8 responses so far

Jul 18 2013

2013 Public Graphic Facilitation Workshops – 2 in Canada!

As usual, Michelle is more organized than I am and got a post up PDQ for our upcoming September workshops.

Registration is Open!

Locations and dates: Rossland, B.C. (September 23-24) and Vancouver, B.C.* (September 26-27).

Rossland Worskhop Pricing: $850+GST (5%)

Rossland Workshop Registration: Email: michelle.k.laurie@gmail.com

Vancouver BC Details: *Please note the Vancouver workshop is being hosted by BC Campus & The University of British Columbia. For details and registration, contact them directly: http://scope.bccampus.ca/course/view.php?id=377

Drawing on Walls at the 2011 Graphic Facilitation Workshop in Rossland, B.C.

Workshop Description:

This experiential workshop takes place almost entirely at the drawing surface. We’ll start by warming up our drawing muscles and silencing those pesky inner censors. Next, we’ll build into the basic practices of graphic facilitation and recording. We will pay attention to preparation, the actual visual work, and follow up including digital capture of paper based images. Finally, we will devote time to participatory graphic approaches, practicing and giving peer feedback. You can expect to go away with icons, ideas and approaches which you can use immediately, as well as ideas about how to hone your practice.

See Sylvia Currie’s great video from the 2011 workshop here!

See our Harvest from the 2012 workshop here!

Looking for the nitty gritty on what the workshop will cover? Download the details: Rosviz_Tools_Takehome_List

When might we use this practice?

Sometimes our imaginations are sparked by a visual where words fail us. Think about when communities plan and imagine their futures, when teams consider the possible outcomes for their projects, when groups create maps to track their progress. These are all opportunities to use visuals to engage and deepen community dialogue. You can use visual thinking to improve teamwork, communications, meetings, build engagement and to plan work. Step out of the PowerPoint rut! Or at least ILLUSTRATE your presentations!

Who should attend?

Facilitators, project managers, team leaders and members, town planners, teachers and anyone who would like to engage others beyond words.

Please note: You do NOT need previous experience or have to consider yourself an artist. At some level, we can all draw and use visuals to enhance our communications and engage diverse audiences.

Testimonials from 2010, 2011 and 2012 participants:

“I am still on cloud 9 after the Graphic Facilitation workshop. Thank you soooo much. I feel recharged after that! You two are such great facilitators. You were willing to bend over backwards to ensure we were comfortable and enjoying ourselves/ learning to our full potential. There wasn’t a moment that I was not completely engaged during the workshop. “

Maddy Koch, Community Planning Assistant (2012 workshop participant)

“The graphic facilitation workshop that Michelle and Nancy provided for Alberta Agriculture staff in fall 2011 was fantastic! They began by setting the stage through careful preparation with the intention of the participants knowing it would be a safe place to learn, stretch their abilities and try new things. And it worked. Participants found the workshop to be energizing, fun, and interesting, but most of all useful. Everyone walked away with ways they planned to incorporate the concepts into their daily work to better engage co-workers, partners and clients. From using it in everything from agendas, minutes, flipcharts and handouts; to ice breakers, meetings, and team building; to note-taking, brainstorming and other planning processes; the graphic facilitation techniques are here to stay. A huge thank you to Michelle and Nancy for lighting the fire!”

Sharon Stollery, Ag Industry Extension Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (2011 workshop)

“What the rosViz11 gave me was the permission to draw without having to be an “artist”. Such joy! Thanks Michelle & Nancy.”

Laurie Webster, Consultant with Cognitive Edge and 2011 Graphic Facilitation workshop participant

“The workshop with Nancy and Michelle has inspired me to think more visually and to use graphics – mostly hand-drawn – in new ways that replace handouts and PowerPoints, resulting in more dynamic conversations.”

Lynne Betts, Communications Consultant (2011 workshop participant)

“I have so many good things to say about the workshop I don’t know where to begin!”

- Sylvia Currie, Curriculum Development and Academic Growth, BC Campus (2010 workshop participant, 2011 mentor)

“I really thought the workshops was useful for me, and I’m not an artist. In a short period of time (2 days) I was able to learn simple and effective techniques to communicate basic ideas using symbols, easy figures, and colour. What I really liked about the workshops was that it was BIG. Big paper, whole body movements, large images. I’ve always drawn on small pieces of paper and this was a whole body experience!

We also did some great listening exercises where in a short period of time, we had to illustrate big ideas (that were on an audio recording). It was a lot of fun and a new challenge.

Overall, two thumbs up!”

- Rachael Roussin, Consultant (2010 workshop participant)

“Thanks for doing this again, Michelle (and Nancy!!). I highly recommend it!”

- Beth Sanders, Populus Community Planning Inc. (2010 workshop participant)

Past workshops have been lots of fun! Click here to see my 2012 blog summary. Click here to see my 2011 blog summary.

We can also travel to you so let me know if you want to see one happen in your region!

Detailed Agenda:

Part 1: I CAN DRAW – Hands-On Writing on Walls

In this session we’ll touch the paper, play with the pens and loosen up our drawing muscles. We’ll address the basics of “drawing on walls” including starting shapes, lettering and some initial iconography. We’ll cover basic techniques and tricks that enable any of us to draw as a way of capturing and communicating ideas with each other. We’ll ask ourselves some questions, such as “What if you draw your notes instead of wrote them?” “Visually captured what is happening at a meeting or in a classroom?” “Engage people beyond words and text?” How would that change the experience for you and others?

When we get tired, we’ll spend some time looking at the work of diverse graphic facilitators, see how books can inspire us and play a bit with materials. Dress for mess!

For a sense of a very short I CAN DRAW session, here is 6 minutes from a lightening fast 45 minute workshop at Northern Voice in 2009.

Part 2: Using Visuals With Group Processes & Facilitation Methods

In the afternoon we’ll explore how visuals can enhance group processes such as planning, meeting and evaluation. We’ll do mind maps, mandalas and simple flip chart enhancements that you can immediately use. We’ll look at the use of visuals with some specific group facilitation methods such as World Cafe, Open Space, Appreciative Inquiry, and others. This part of the workshop includes lecture, conversation and lots of hands on experience. We’ll explore practical applications while we continue to learn to write on walls, the base elements of the practice of graphic recording and facilitation.

Part 3: More on Graphic Recording

Writing on Walls at the 2010 workshop

The second morning we’ll focus on traditional graphic recording (actively listening and capturing what is going on in a group, rather than using graphics as a facilitation device). We’ll review and practice how to listen for key ideas, iconography, and organizing space. We’ll do a number of practice drawings then review our own work. We will hold several practice sessions in the safe space of the classroom. This time will prepare you to record confidently in real work settings.

Part 4: Participatory Graphics and More Practice

Building on our drawing and exploration of visual practices in whole group processes, we’ll experiment more with participatory graphics.

Participatory graphic from Moose Camp sessions, Northern Voice 2011

This is when the pen goes into everyone’s hands, not just the graphic recorder’s. When people “make their mark” it changes their experience and ownership of the experience. It can open up how they talk and think about things.We’ll look at a range of participatory visual practices including methods such as visual icebreakers, “River of Life,” Knowledge Tree,” and other examples. Think about your group’s situations and needs and we can work to imagine practices that might help your real work!

We’ll intersperse our learning sessions with practice and feedback periods. We’ll finish by looking at some of the resources available to “visual practitioners!”

 

Preparation:

  • Come prepared to get your hands dirty.
  • Dress is comfortable clothes that can get dirty and you won’t be sad if they are stained.
  • Bring a pad of paper or journal to take notes – unlined is terrific.
  • Bring a digital camera to record the fruits of your labor.
  • We will supply the basic materials for the 2 days, but you may want to purchase in advance your own set of materials. Details available upon request.

About the Facilitators:

Nancy creating a visual agenda for the day, 2011 workshop

Nancy White: ”I am a learner, mom, gramma and chocoholic. I founded Full Circle Associates to help organizations connect through online and offline strategies. My practices are diverse, including online interaction designer, facilitator and coach for distributed communities of practice, online learning, distributed teams and online communities, doodler and visual practitioner. I have a special interest in the NGO/NPO sector and the emerging practice of using communities and networks for work and learning. I blog at http://www.fullcirc.com/, teach, present and write on online facilitation and interaction, social architecture, social media and visual practices. I am co-author with Etienne Wenger and John Smith of Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities (http://www.technologyforcommunities.com). Lately not only do I like to draw on walls (graphic facilitation), but I spend a lot of time cooing over my grandkids!!! For more about my visual practice see http://www.fullcirc.com/about/visual-and-graphic-work/.”

Getting physical at the 2010 workshop

Michelle Laurie is your key contact for more information. “I have a passion for helping organizations and partnerships communicate as well as improve the way they create and share knowledge. I focus on strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, facilitation and engagement. I have been successfully incorporating visual thinking into my work particularly with the use of participatory graphic exercises and visual aids. I also use visuals in my personal life for planning weddings, newborns and other fun things! My areas of expertise include sustainable development, collaboration and learning.”

RSVP : Please email michelle.k.laurie@gmail.com to confirm your participation and find out more details!

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Jun 26 2013

Community events: dinner parties and rock concerts

A month ago I facilitated the fourth of six workshops I’m doing for a client on (online) communities of practice. The topic was “community heartbeats,” with a focus on the role of events as heartbeats. Of course, I tried to pack too much into an hour and one topic we never got to was thinking about the strategic differences of small, intimate events (a.k.a. the dinner party) and big, elaborate events (a.k.a. the rock concert). I promised to blog something as follow up because I have been thinking about some heuristics around how to decide what kind of event is useful at any particular time in a community’s life, particularly communities of practice. So here are a few thoughts, along with a question for you: what kind of events (online and offline) have been particularly useful and generative for your communities (of practice or whatever!)

IMG_0200

Small Events – “Dinner Parties” – Connection

You know those intimate gatherings, 4, 6 or 8 people, a well planned menu, attention to atmosphere and, most importantly, thinking about the chemistry between people. When friends introduce friends, connections can be activated in a flash. We walk in the room strangers, we walk out as friends, telling stories.

When our community goal is to create critical connections, small events can be the most effective way to “close triangles” between people. The intimacy creates context. Of course, good food and wine help too. But one things of a four way Skype call as a virtual small event, we can still bring that kind of care. How we introduce people, what the invitation looks like … more than “I want you two to meet.” Plant the seeds of possibility in the invitation by sharing what the individuals have in common. Come with a great question to start the conversation. And with online events – more than with F2F events – consider some follow up contact. The “magic” sometimes takes more than one virtual contact.

IMG_4277

Medium Events – “Workshops” – Action

Medium sized events are the workhorses of communities.  This is where the action happens. Groups of 7 – 50 (often broken into subgroups) are the places to get things done: focused learning, team work, thinking together, tackling tough problems or opportunities and planning. Online or F2F, we can think about workshops, planning meetings, consultations and other gatherings, all time delimited and focused. This is a key to the productivity. They can’t be too long or too broad.

A distinction that I think IS worth making here is that it is too easy to make these into content delivery events, moving participants to the role of audience rather than community members. There are some great resources for rethinking HOW we do these, such as Liberating Structures, GroupWorks Deck, World Cafe and Open Space — all of which focus on participant ownership and engagement of the interaction. If I could make one strong recommendation about these “medium” events, it would be to move straight content delivery into videos and save the “face time ” (online or F2F) for designs that fully engage everyone.

IMG_0403Big Events – “Rock Concerts” – Community Identity

There is something about a “happening.” The crush of the crowd. The energy that groups of over 150 generate. It is often far less about the community’s domain or content, and more a statement of identity of the group. In full force, our parties rock our organizations. In full force, we may influence in a way that is actually larger than our numbers when they are dispersed across the organization. We create presence. We celebrate. We see both what we have in common and how we are different — both very powerful community aspects. Our “rock concerts” should not be everyday affairs. Once a year, or even less , can create the feeling both for the community, and it’s visibility to the wider organization or world.

What did I miss? Misinterpret?

 

 

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Jun 25 2013

Graphic Facilitation 2013 Workshops in Rossland and Vancouver BC

Not one, but TWO workshops are available this coming September, one hosted by Michelle Laurie and I in Rossland BC (a.k.a. RosViz) and another hosted by BC Campus in Vancouver BC. Here is the information.

Locations and dates: Rossland, B.C. (September 23-23) and Vancouver, B.C. (September 26-27). Please note the Vancouver workshop is being hosted by BC Campus & The University of British Columbia.  For details and registration, contact them directly: http://scope.bccampus.ca/course/view.php?id=377

Rossland Worskhop Pricing: $850 CDN+GST, Register before July 5th and receive the early bird rate: $700 CDN+GST

Rossland Workshop Registration: Email: michelle.k.laurie@gmail.com

Drawing on Walls at the 2011 Graphic Facilitation Workshop in Rossland, B.C.

Workshop Description:

This experiential workshop takes place almost entirely at the drawing surface. We’ll start by warming up our drawing muscles and silencing those pesky inner censors. Next, we’ll build into the basic practices of graphic facilitation and recording. We will pay attention to preparation, the actual visual work, and follow up including digital capture of paper based images. Finally, we will devote time to participatory graphic approaches, practicing and giving peer feedback. You can expect to go away with icons, ideas and approaches which you can use immediately, as well as ideas about how to hone your practice.

See Sylvia Currie’s great video from the 2011 workshop here!

See our Harvest from the 2012 workshop here!

Looking for the nitty gritty on what the workshop will cover?  Download the details: Rosviz_Tools_Takehome_List

When might we use this practice?

Sometimes our imaginations are sparked by a visual where words fail us. Think about when communities plan and imagine their futures, when teams consider the possible outcomes for their projects, when groups create maps to track their progress.  These are all opportunities to use visuals to engage and deepen community dialogue. You can use visual thinking to improve teamwork, communications, meetings, build engagement and to plan work. Step out of the PowerPoint rut!

Who should attend?

Facilitators, project managers, team leaders and members, town planners, teachers and anyone who would like to engage others beyond words. Please note: You do NOT need previous experience or have to consider yourself an artist. At some level, we can all draw and use visuals to enhance our communications and engage diverse audiences.

Testimonials from 2010, 2011 and 2012 participants:

“I am still on cloud 9 after the Graphic Facilitation workshop. Thank you soooo much. I feel recharged after that! You two are such great facilitators.  You were willing to bend over backwards to ensure we were comfortable and enjoying ourselves/ learning to our full potential.  There wasn’t a moment that I was not completely engaged during the workshop. “

 Maddy Koch
Community Planning Assistant (2012 workshop participant)

“The graphic facilitation workshop that Michelle and Nancy provided for Alberta Agriculture staff in fall 2011 was fantastic!  They began by setting the stage through careful preparation with the intention of the participants knowing it would be a safe place to learn, stretch their abilities and try new things.  And it worked.  Participants found the workshop to be energizing, fun, and interesting, but most of all useful.  Everyone walked away with ways they planned to incorporate the concepts into their daily work to better engage co-workers, partners and clients.  From using it in everything from agendas, minutes, flipcharts and handouts; to ice breakers, meetings, and team building; to note-taking, brainstorming and other planning processes; the graphic facilitation techniques are here to stay.  A huge thank you to Michelle and Nancy for lighting the fire!”

Sharon Stollery
Ag Industry Extension Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (2011 workshop)

“What the rosViz11 gave me was the permission to draw without having to be an “artist”. Such joy! Thanks Michelle & Nancy.”

Laurie Webster
Consultant with Cognitive Edge and 2011 Graphic Facilitation workshop participant

 “The workshop with Nancy and Michelle has inspired me to think more visually and to use graphics – mostly hand-drawn – in new ways that replace handouts and PowerPoints, resulting in more dynamic conversations.”

Lynne Betts
Communications Consultant (2011 workshop participant)

 “I have so many good things to say about the workshop I don’t know where to begin!”

- Sylvia Currie, Curriculum Development and Academic Growth, BC Campus (2010 workshop participant)

“I really thought the workshops was useful for me, and I’m not an artist. In a short period of time (2 days) I was able to learn simple and effective techniques to communicate basic ideas using symbols, easy figures, and colour. What I really liked about the workshops was that it was BIG. Big paper, whole body movements, large images. I’ve always drawn on small pieces of paper and this was a whole body experience!

We also did some great listening excercises where in a short period of time, we had to illustrate big ideas (that were on an audio recording). It was a lot of fun and a new challenge.

Overall, two thumbs up!”

- Rachael Roussin, Consultant (2010 workshop participant)

“Thanks for doing this again, Michelle (and Nancy!!). I highly recommend it!”

- Beth Sanders, Populus Community Planning Inc. (2010 workshop participant)

Past workshops have been lots of fun!  Click here to see Michelle’s 2012 blog summary.  Click here to see her 2011 blog summary. 

We can also travel to you so let me know if you want to see one happen in your region!

Detailed Agenda:

Part 1: I CAN DRAW – Hands-On Writing on Walls 

In this session we’ll touch the paper, play with the pens and loosen up our drawing muscles. We’ll address the basics of “drawing  on walls” including starting shapes, lettering and some initial iconography. We’ll cover basic techniques and tricks that enable any of us to draw as a way of capturing and communicating ideas with each other. We’ll ask ourselves some questions, such as “What if you draw your notes instead of wrote them?” “Visually captured what is happening at a meeting or in a classroom?” “Engage people beyond words and text?” How would that change the experience for you and others?

When we get tired, we’ll spend some time looking at the work of diverse graphic facilitators, see how books can inspire us and play a bit with materials.  Dress for mess!

For a sense of a very short I CAN DRAW session, here is 6 minutes from a lightening fast 45 minute workshop at Northern Voice in 2009.

Part 2: Using Visuals With Group Processes & Facilitation Methods 

In the afternoon we’ll explore  how visuals can enhance  group  processes such as planning, meeting and evaluation. We’ll do mind maps, mandalas and simple flip chart enhancements  that you can immediately use.  We’ll look at the use of visuals with some specific group facilitation methods such as World Cafe, Open Space, Appreciative Inquiry, and others. This part of the workshop includes lecture, conversation and lots of hands on experience. We’ll explore practical applications while we continue to learn to write on walls, the base elements of the practice of graphic recording and facilitation.

Part 3: More on Graphic Recording  

Writing on Walls at the 2010 workshop

The second morning we’ll focus on  traditional graphic recording (actively listening and capturing what is going on in a group, rather than using graphics as a facilitation device). We’ll review and practice  how to listen for key ideas, iconography, and organizing space. We’ll do a number of practice drawings then review our own work. We will hold several practice sessions in the safe space of the classroom.  This time will prepare you to record confidently in real work settings.

Part 4: Participatory Graphics and More Practice  

Building on our drawing and exploration of visual practices in whole group processes, we’ll experiment more with participatory graphics.

Participatory graphic from Moose Camp sessions, Northern Voice 2011

This is when the pen goes into everyone’s hands, not just the graphic recorder’s. When people “make their mark” it changes their experience and ownership of the experience. It can open up how they talk and think about things.We’ll look at a range of participatory visual practices including methods such as visual icebreakers, “River of Life,” Knowledge Tree,” and other examples. Think about your group’s situations and needs and we can work to imagine practices that might help your real work!

We’ll intersperse our learning sessions with practice and feedback periods.  We’ll finish by looking at some of the resources available to “visual practitioners!”

 Preparation:

  • Come prepared to get your hands dirty.
  • Dress is comfortable clothes that can get dirty and you won’t be sad if they are stained.
  • Bring a pad of paper or journal to take notes – unlined is terrific.
  • Bring a digital camera to record the fruits of your labor.
  • We will supply the basic materials for the 2 days, but you may want to purchase in advance your own set of materials. Details available upon request.

About the Facilitators:

Nancy creating a visual agenda for the day, 2011 workshop

Nancy White:  ”I am a learner, mom, gramma and chocoholic. I founded Full Circle Associates to help organizations connect through online and offline strategies.  My practices are diverse, including online interaction designer, facilitator and coach for distributed communities of practice, online learning, distributed teams and online communities, doodler and visual practitioner. I have a special interest in the NGO/NPO sector and the emerging practice of using communities and networks for work and learning. I blog at http://www.fullcirc.com/, teach, present and write on online facilitation and interaction, social architecture, social media and visual practices. I am co-author with Etienne Wenger and John Smith of Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities (http://www.technologyforcommunities.com).  Lately not only do I  like to draw on walls (graphic facilitation), but I spend a lot of time cooing over my new grandbaby!!! For more about my visual practice see http://www.fullcirc.com/about/visual-and-graphic-work/.”

Getting physical at the 2010 workshop

Michelle Laurie is your key contact for more information.   “I have a passion for helping organizations and partnerships communicate as well as improve the way they create and share knowledge.  I focus on strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, facilitation and engagement.  I have been successfully incorporating visual thinking into my work particularly with the use of participatory graphic exercises and visual aids.  I also use visuals in my personal life for planning weddings, newborns and other fun things!  My areas of expertise include sustainable development, collaboration and learning.”

RSVP : Please email michelle.k.laurie@gmail.com

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