All of the workshops and retreats that I’m a part of are
custom designed to meet the needs and purposes
of a given group of people.
Even the workshops I do often are each unique, evolving from previous iterations based on what I’m currently exploring. Workshop and retreat durations include
one day planning events,
and multiple day / multiple event initiatives.
Below are a few that I have offered often with colleagues, or that I am currently developing, as well as links to sample invitations.
If you would like to explore creating or participating in
one of these workshops or retreats together,
the first step is a phone call.
The Art of Hosting (Open Enrollment)
Invitation Sample (Leading Change Through Dialogue and Action) — The challenges of these times call for collective intelligence. We must co-create the solutions we seek. When human beings are invited to work together on what truly matters to them, they take ownership and responsibility for moving their issues and ideas into wise actions that last – learn how Art of Hosting provides a framework to help support and facilitate this process.
The Art of Participative Leadership
Invitation Sample (For Transition and Resilience Initiatives) — The Art of Participatory Leadership, now practiced and offered worldwide, is an intensive 3-day event where you will experience and practice a set of simple, yet powerful, processes for building community, facilitating powerful conversations, building strong partnerships, and leading change. Come explore how to unleash collective genius and build adaptive and leader-full communities. We invite those engaged and committed to the many aspects of resilience to come together from Transition Towns, sustainability initiatives, local economy, permaculture communities, sustainable business, local food, healthy families, and more.
Developing Partnerships in the Workplace
Invitation Sample — I loved creating this workshop with Jean Ogilvie and others in the Ottawa area. I love the direct focus on building partnerships needed from this context of our organizations being under pressure. Pressure is an opportunity for real change. Most of us know the intractable challenges. Yet many of us also know the irrepressible dreams we hold. Real change calls for a new kind of leadership. Courageous, imaginative leaders with skills to co-create with new networks of colleagues that cross organizational, generational and professional boundaries. It means living with awareness in the current system, while co-creating an emerging system of the future. Leaders exist at every level! How can we as leaders engage, inspire and wake our people up? From meetings that matter to collaborations that do a better job at harnessing collective wisdom?
The Artistry of Convening Within Faith Based Communities
Invitation Sample — In most faith traditions, a core part of the work is convening. Coming together to worship, to work for social justice, to work for personal and communal transformation, and to know and be known by others. Faith traditions rely on the strength and memory of community. They yearn to improve collective discernment, to serve marginalized communities, to form partnerships with emerging communities, to animate a future uninhibited by current obstacles. This workshop helps answer the questions of how to lead together when we don’t know where we are going.
Healthier Healthcare Systems
Invitation Sample — Healthcare is in crisis. Most of us know the intractable challenges. Cut services. Demanded productivity. Decreased accessibility. Runaway cost. Exhausted leaders. Lots more. Yet, many of us also have high hopes for healthier healthcare. We have beginnings of irrepressible dreams for a healthcare systems that thrive. For a system committed to wellness. For simplicity that doesn’t deny the complexity, yet responds well to it. Crisis is an opportunity for change. Real change calls for a new story and practice of leadership. Harvest Document
12 Principles for Creating Healthy Community Change
This is part of a kit created by The Berkana Institute. Contained within it are 12 principles for creating change. I’ve also used them as principles for design. Principles for freedom. Working with core leadership teams. Each principle is accompanied by a few questions to help focus leadership and social engagement. One of the reasons I love these is I feel a deep embodiment of them. I’ve been living in, applying, and learning some form of these principles with many friends through The Berkana Institute since the early 90s.
These principles were created by friends and colleagues, Margaret Wheatley and Nancy Margulies. They are part of an Engaging Community Toolkit created in partnership by The Berkana Institute and Neighborhood Centers Inc. When I use these, I introduce the principles as “principles for freedom in design,” whether working with teams, communities, or movements. They represent a bit of what is underneath choices of engagement methodologies and practices. I introduce the questions as “questions to get started.” They are great for many things including process reflection, staff meetings, setting group norms and agreements, and working with community movements at scale.
I’ve heard it said numerous times, “There is nothing as useful as a good question.” I attended a Flow Game training in 2009, a game developed by Toke Moeller, Monica Nissen, and their other Danish colleagues. Played in the form of a game, it can be experienced in a couple of hours or a couple of days. It can have a general focus or be for a very specific task. Through exploring useful questions together the purpose is to create a kind of clarity and life-affirming flow and action for participants. Further Description.
This is another workshop I am currently developing, particularly with my partner Teresa Posakony. In my early learning with my mentors Meg Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers, we hosted seminars to invite people to see, understand, and share stories and research about the dynamics of self-organization applied to human organizations. Those seminars have stayed with me. They feel as important today as they were then. This workshop is a way of calling attention back to a theory base that underlays teams working well and innovatively together.
This is a workshop I’ve started to explore with friends, Roq Gareau and Robi Gareau of Centrespoke. A pilot version may be to particularly support men in leadership. As Roq says when describing his Soultime Men’s Groups, “to offer an alternative to the patterns of isolation that many men find themselves in.” We want to apply more of this to the realms of leadership, the myths of leadership that men are often unknowing players within, and entrapments of men in leadership habits. Author Steve Johnson in his book, Where Good Ideas Come From, writes, “The waking brain, too, has an appetite for the generative chaos that rules in the dream state.” This workshop will explore multiple levels of intuitive and initiatory practices, including working with dreams, to wake ourselves to more conscious choices in leadership, governance, and community.
The Art of Humans Being
Invitation Sample — These have been very unique events, developed largely with my friend Judy Wallace. They are a version of something that is beyond the basics of participative leadership, more rooted in the focus of re-activating, re-patterning, and re-storying. There are many of us living with awareness that human beings are called to be something different and more in these times. In our places of work. In our communities. With ourselves. Awakened. Listening. Curious. Tuned. Creating and having fun together. There are many of us also aware that we are living in unprecedented uncertainty. Infrastructural challenge, even collapse. Systemic complexity. Shift. Birth. We know it is a time to live into our visions and the new story. Not a time to hide, nor be paralyzed. It is a time to be courageous together. Real. As we repattern ourselves to meet the call of this era. The Art of Humans Being is for all who sense the new story of how we can work together. For all yearning to activate that story. Resource Book
QT is one of the gatherings that I most enjoy, co-created with my friend and colleague Quanita Roberson. It is a bit of a natural extension from earlier work on The Art of Humans Being. It’s a format with some key components woven in to a Friday through Sunday container. These include:
- A Good Hello — deep purpose and intimacy of sharing what brings each of us to the gathering.
- Welcoming Dreams — the subconscious
- Food and Cleaning Up Together — community
- Following What Has Attention — we are subjective beings that can follow simple doorways
- Roles — complexity of who we are
- Art — multiple mediums
- Ritual — the non-cerebral
- A Good Goodbye — deliberateness of tucking in.
QT’s meaning isn’t set in stone. But “Quality Time” is one of the meanings that I like most. Sample Invitation.