Our Blog

Serious Play

Originally Posted by: Natalie Joy Last Friday, I went dancing with some pretty fantastic people.  One silly moment stood out for me.  Randomly, a great friend of mine mentioned that she had seen my MFA thesis production and didn’t understand it at all.  As it was a...

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Laughter with LEGO

Originally Posted by: Jacqueline Lloyd Smith at Lloyd Smith Solutions In August of 2010, Phil Culhane  attended the Strategic Play™ Facilitator Training offered in Vancouver. He is now facilitating workshops with a variety of people working in organizations. In an...

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On Becoming a coLead

We assemble a CT Labs team for every engagement that we do.  This team includes at least one Collaboration Lead and one coLead.  While the Lead is responsible for the overall solution design, the coLead plays an important role in realizing the design during the event...

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Designing Futures for People who Care

Now that's a bold tag line, but that's really really what we're all about. Designing futures for people who care. That's why we're looking for visionaries. People with ideas, people who care about making the world, their world, a better place. People who want to make...

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The Importance of Bearing Witness

This morning, along with about 30,000 other people, I decided to make my way towards the cenotaph in downtown Ottawa, to be present at 11:00 am for, what is for me, one of the most important ceremonial moments of each year. Remembrance Day commemorates the most...

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The “M” word

It's a word that often comes up in the closing analysis of one of our sessions. The "M" word. Yes, the "M" word. Miracle. "We accomplished 7 years worth of work in the past 12 hours. This was nothing short of a miracle." “We found solutions, and laid out the timelines...

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LegoLand in LotusLand

Alright. Hands up, everyone who thinks it would be pretty cool to spend a week learning how to use advanced 3D modeling techniques to build conceptual models of complex human systems, testing possible future states for hidden weaknesses, in order to develop optimal...

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On the Questionne of Menne in Blacke

Pardon the title. I'm reading some early 18th century fiction at the moment, so gratuitous e's just seem to magically appear in my writing these days. And speaking of magic, I get quite a kick out of it when people ask about our wearing black during our facilitated...

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Being of Service

One of the guidelines that I use to approach my day is to leave things better than I find them, whenever the opportunity presents itself. When we work in a rented space, we remove all trace that we were there, and often go the extra step to clean up after others or do...

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Invite the Right People

A part of the CT Labs engagement process – the most noticeable part – is the workshop element, the events. Events are where a client brings 1 or 501 friends, stakeholders and neighbors into open collaboration for a day or three, using our processes to enable...

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Opening Space

Harrison Owen gave us all a big hand up when he gifted us with his graceful Open Space Technology, but it is not that of which I speak. Today, I'm thinking of a far more generalized opening of space, one that is referenced in the practice of Zen. The idea is that...

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Holding Hope

One of the many and varied jobs of a Lead is what is called “holding hope.” It is a challenging habit for some to acquire, because it is quite easy to fundamentally misunderstand the role in either of at least two directions. This particular task is to hold hope for...

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How do you make Organizational Transformation work?

How do you change an organization? No, how do you REALLY change an organization? Organizations, human systems, are in a constant state of flux - change is one of the few constants. But organizational transformation speaks to a whole other level of change - it speaks...

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Better Information; Better Decisions

I think it’s safe to state that better information makes for better decisions. Or, more specifically: comprehensive, timely information that is readily available in a useable format can enable more useful decisions. But I tend to wonder why we tend to focus on...

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Do you REALLY want the answer to that question?

All of our client engagements are guided by an intention question. In fact, I’d recommend to anyone that every meeting you hold, short or long, will be more useful if it is held in the service of a question. It lets people know why they are there, and that their input...

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12 Windows

Truth be told, there is no tool or process in the world of facilitation that is failsafe – there is no single logical progression that you can take every group through, with utter clarity and transformation manifesting themselves on the other side. However – there’s a...

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The Impact of Visual Facilitation

I recently mentioned some wonderful visual facilitation training that we took in at The Grove, in San Francisco. Well, we were hardly back and off the plane before I had the opportunity to put some of the training into practice. We were facilitating a two-day planning...

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Sincerity is Following Through

Sincerity, like love, is NOT an emotion. It’s not a feeling. It’s not something you can promise. “Sincerity”, in the words of a wise old Zen master (is there any other kind?) “is following through.” You can’t promise sincerity – you can only demonstrate it through...

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Sometimes, Groups Have to "Fail"

Yes, it’s true. Or so I’ve found it to be. Sometimes, despite anything a facilitator can do, the human system you are working with will fail to achieve any useful outcomes. And here’s something for you to ponder – sometimes it’s your role to enable them to fail....

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You Don’t Want a Note-Taker

Sometimes, when we are doing a smaller engagement for a client group, they like to manage their investment (or cut costs) by offering us a “note-taker” to support our work on the day of the event, in place of one of our coLeads. And when we say that we offer something...

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