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Online and Face to Face Meeting Facilitation – it can still be great

Let's design highly engaged, purposeful meetings online

Wondering how to create a powerful gathering... online? I fully believe it's possible. We can have great strategic planning meetings online and face to face. We can get aligned and have deep conversations about our vision, mission, values - and about our wicked problems. For me, we don't need to overdesign it with a million bells and whistles, but we can't under-plan, plunk everyone in front of screens for eight hours and expect magic. But we CAN create transformative meetings that leave us better than when we started.

Online and Face to Face facilitation with Drawing Change

There’s a sweet spot of working with what might emerge, and planning ahead so we can help the group unlock their best thinking. We need a few important elements: the right people, a clear purpose, tools that support complexity and dialogue, and the right facilitation guidance to fit the function.

No photo of a Zoom room, sorry!

Here are some examples of meetings we’ve facilitated in 2020:
– Mission-vision-values-goals with a health non-profit with a new Board (face to face)
– Organizational strategic planning for a national sexual health organization online, including pre-work (online)
– Bioscientists launching a new initiative, including graphic recording (all online)
– Online meetings with 40+ university-community groups planning participatory research (online)
– Full day supporting senior leaders to launch an internal change initiative (covid safe)
and much more.

Here’s what you might expect:

We’ll use processes that work with complexity. Tools for dialogue. There won’t be much powerpoint. We balance outcomes with a good process. There might be a few new-to-you things to tap into creativity. Visuals amplify what we’re doing, ranging from helping us work in a circle to the graphic recorder who tracks the conversation. We could create an element of delight, maybe with things mailed to participants. We’ll use all our senses, with music and pausing to stretch (with lots of opt-in choices). We would want to make sure the conversations are harvested/we take notes, and we might choose between low-tech methods like google docs or visual tools like Mural. We want to ensure the process is culturally responsive, and inclusive. We’ll share the leadership and roles among participants. The focus is on creating the environment that enables the most people to participate fully: we’ll mix it up with lots of methods. Sam brings 20+ years of facilitation experience, too.

How to Work Together

Most of our process facilitation clients are organizations in the public sector, health, education, non-profits and groups working for social impact. We can provide facilitation design (or just coaching if you have an idea, and want to boost your agenda to the next level!), zoom technical assistance, graphic recording, and co-facilitation support from our team. Get in touch so we can find out how we can support what you need.

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