February 17, 2016

Have you ever been to an event that is talking about being one thing while being something else? For example, a conference about innovation that uses well-established, mainstream and predictable processes? Or more specifically, focusing on creativity, for example, while sitting in ferried rows listening to an ‘expert’ speaker using poor powerpoint slides? With questions, […]

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Honor Among Thieves: A Review

March 23, 2015

Edges are interesting places. Unpredictable stuff happens there. Much of what many of us take for granted every day – belonging, security, understanding – can be missing, or at least fleeting. In his latest book, the second in a trilogy, J. explores these themes through the eyes and experiences of humanitarian workers and the people […]

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Where ‘YES!’ leads

November 18, 2014

Early mornings are not my best time. People I used to work with joked that no-one should talk to me before 10 am. Bit rough, I reckon. So you will understand that dragging myself out of bed at 5 am to attend breakfast meetings in Melbourne, was, well, a touch out of character (this included […]

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Path dependency

October 7, 2014

Always wondered why, even in the face of undeniable evidence of better ways of doing stuff (anything, really) we prefer to stick to our old ways? Of course, there’s many answers to this, but here’s one I’ve just learnt about which helps explain, to me, why case studies rarely help in influencing  how people act; […]

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Reflections on learning and reflection

July 11, 2013

Johnnie and I have just completed a week’s training on learning and reflection in Malawi, Africa, with 35 people from a humanitarian organisation. Bob Dick, a friend and mentor, once said “The best time to plan something is after you have done it, because then you understand it.” Too right! To say we take an […]

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Courageous conversations

February 18, 2013

Sometimes I’m asked how I know about various facilitation approaches, how I know what to do, and what not to do, that sort of thing. One of the ways is to put myself in the shoes of a participant and notice my own reactions, and also learn from the others I’m with. I’ve signed up […]

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Why thinking harder is not the answer

February 4, 2013

We’re all having to learn, and re-learn the ways of the world. The systems, processes and approaches that have served us well are breaking down – whether it’s democracy and capitalism, or how we communicate with our families – the technology that many of us now have access to, and the shifting sands of public […]

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February 3, 2013

It’s been a while – blogging that is. Now that the excitement of our book launch is abating (thanks for all your lovely comments, by the way – and over 2000 downloads, that’s pretty amazing) it’s time to resume some normal blogging (whatever that looks like). I’ve been thinking about recipes. I have lots of […]

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Action storming for tackling difficult people

November 9, 2012

The question comes up sooner or later: “How do you deal with difficult people?” Leaving aside the question of what makes people ‘difficult’, or that one person’s ‘difficult’ might be another person’s ‘creative’, this is the second most common question we’re asked about facilitating groups. We’ve developed a rather nifty process that we’ve named Action […]

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Flipping learning

November 3, 2012

There’s lots happening right now. I’ve been travelling in Kenya, immersed in nature and different cultures, I’m visiting with my friend Johnnie and I’m about to embark on facilitating a 10-day training where there will be a huge emphasis on content. Oh, and I’m also taking part in a Stanford University MOOC (massive open on-line course) […]

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