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01/27/2016
Gordon Eby

facilitating breakout facilitation small group discussion work session

Facilitating a breakout group - or small group dialogue/work session - is an awesome opportunity. A productive breakout session can help develop creative ideas and a clear path forward. If successful, the experience can get...

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12/07/2015
Kris Henry

holiday group collaborative giving
A pair of gloves. A toy guitar. Passes to the science museum. These are just a few of the things on the holiday wish list provided to me by REACH, a Waltham, MA-based organization that serves survivors of domestic violence. For the third consecutive year, my...

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05/20/2015
Jennifer Rutley


We are in the business of helping organizations facilitate conversations so they can come together, think better, and move forward. Sometimes we facilitate conversations that all parties are eager to engage in; other times it’s not so easy.

Difficult conversation...

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03/09/2013
Gordon Eby

I was recently helping a colleague think through a collaborative workshop design and was introduced to the idea of the six-word memoir. According to SMITH Magazine, Earnest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in six words. His response was: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Brilliant.

My colleague Kristen proposed to use a six-...

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11/16/2012
Mason Smith

We let our guard down during this Friday’s Transcribe and discussed what we fear as facilitators of change. Though each member of our team has varying degrees of experience as a facilitator, we found many shared fears and effective practices to overcome them.

The most common fear was that as consultants partnering with subject matter experts to solve complex business challenges, we may not share an equal level of understanding of the content being...

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10/21/2012
Katia Greene

There is a moment before stepping out in front of a group of people who have come together to tackle a problem that requires all of your attention and ability when you have a decision to make. You can choose to approach the unknown as palpable ambiguity or malleable possibility. During this Friday’s Transcribe, we here at Collective Next discussed how we attempt to balance the necessary tight rope walk of preventing the bottom from dropping out and blowing the...

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09/19/2012
Mason Smith

In last Friday’s Transcribe, we discussed how a session is like a good book, you are engaged from start to finish, you experience each twist and turn side by side with the main characters, and it leaves you thinking in ways you had not considered before.

We recently supported a session for one of our clients that focused on facilitating innovative thinking. We visited several different organizations that live and breathe innovation and discussed the...

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03/20/2011
Mike LaRhette

Collective Next has run hundreds of strategic offsites over the years and while each one presents its own unique challenges in both design and delivery, there are a few guiding design principles we try to use when approachin them with our clients.  Here are five basic no-no’s we strive to maintain.

No PowerPoint
PowerPoint has been an easy target for years so this should be no surprise that it tops our list.  Nothing new here...

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09/24/2010
Kathy Clemons

On his blog, Jonah Lehrer discusses the impact of distraction on creativity. The study he reacts to describes a high level of distractibility, that inability to avoid eavesdropping at a party, “low latent inhibition.” So, if you are practicing latent inhibition, you are able to focus and channel your attention. The study evaluated students with low latent...

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