When I first started facilitating, I wanted to be perfect — to get everything right. What I learned quickly is that “perfect” does not exist. Each group of people and every conversation I facilitated was different and had different desirables and different outcomes. Instead of perfection, I now strive for understanding and moving people to action.

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels

Here is a list of tools that I have found helpful in own my facilitation practice, no matter the setting:

Check your personal bias at the door.

Bias is something that every human possesses. Our bias can be explicit (obvious or clear) or implicit (unknown or hidden). As a facilitator, it…

Part 4 of a 5-part series on becoming and staying a curious leader.

What exactly is the role of a leader in generating curiosity and learning?

Consider first what is within your sphere of control and responsibility. You, of course! You have control over yourself. Is there anything about you that can be enhanced or changed to communicate a desire for a more learning-oriented culture? Changing your leadership style is challenging but doable. What role does your leadership style play? It can act as a motivator or a diminisher in your organization. …

Part 3 of a 5-part series on becoming and staying a curious leader.

Multipliers are leaders who look beyond their own genius and focus their energy on extracting and extending the genius of others.

Liz Wiseman, Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter

Liz Wiseman discovered that Multipliers got twice as much out of their staff than other leaders. To be a Multiplier, leaders are empowered rather than threatened by the growth and development of the people around them.

While most organizations committed to improvement understand the need for continuing education and learning, how do leaders actually accomplish the…

I recently presented my dim view of our government and discussed voting in the upcoming election. I noted that government seems to have lost sight of whom it represents and that the election might be a fantastic way to remind those in power whose interests they should really be listening to. And yet, as important as the election is to our country’s future, as a law professor I think what’s really at stake is the future direction of the judicial branch and its crown jewel, the U.S. Supreme Court. Let me offer you a cautionary tale of why that matters.

Image of the United States Supreme Court.
Image of the United States Supreme Court.
Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

Shortly after Donald J. Trump was elected president, a friend of mine came up with a term to describe what she was seeing in Congress — legislative looting. According to my friend, in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election many in our nation were suffering from whiplash. We were so focused on the seemingly daily erratic behavior of our newly-elected president that we failed to notice the significant laws that were being passed, with almost no coverage by the media or commentary by the public at large. …

Part 2 of a 5-part series on becoming and staying a curious leader.

The intentionality of acquiring new information or learning creates a competitive advantage. Organizational learning can range from accidental to intentional. This series discusses three stances of learning: completion, performance, and development.

In the performance stance, the employee thinks about how to perform the task well while doing it. It is the balance between speed and quality. However, how to do the job better is not the goal; it is a byproduct of doing the task. …

In 2003, a documentary was released that offered a pointed perspective on the modern publicly traded corporation. Among the many claims of the documentary — The Corporation — was that, since a corporation is considered a legal person under the law what would happen if we examined its personality? The filmmakers’ conclusion? The general characteristics of the modern corporation were those that were shared by a human sociopath.

The documentary is based on a book by Joel Bakan, a law professor at the University of British Columbia who undertook the research that underpins the film.

I have shown that film…

Part 1 of a 5-part series on becoming and staying a curious leader.

People across the U.S. are calling on organizations of all types to be different. To have different values. To hire and support people differently. To be better contributors to communities and the world. Responding to calls for change will require individual and organizational learning. Organizations with learning cultures are several steps ahead.

David Garvin calls a Learning Organization one that is skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge and modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights (1993, 2008). …

Have you attended a meeting? Participated in a video conference? Joined a conference call?

As you sit in the virtual waiting room, do you experience dread? Do you find these telephone conversations unproductive? Are you doodling during staff meetings, or do you come away feeling like your meetings were uninspiring ?

I have felt this way in my fair share of mandatory work meetings. I always found myself asking “where is the fun?” Is this what people consider professional?

After too many of these dispiriting sessions, I have made it my mission to infuse joy into meetings. …

“You should go to them.”

These words, spoken by mother, approximately five years ago set me down a path that changed the way that I think about businesses’ role in humanity. A few years ago, I was fortunate to have a book that I co-edited, When Business Harms Human Rights: Affected communities that are dying to be heard, featured at the United Nations’ Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights. Since 2012, the Forum has taken place every year in Geneva, Switzerland. It is free and open to anyone with an interest in business and human rights. …

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