I Hate Group Work

The irony is not lost on me that I help people collaborate for a living, as I was always that student that disliked group work. Now, I’ve raised four people who are like me in that way. Sigh. Still today, I often work alone.

Dig a little deeper though, and it’s not surprising that I would devote considerable attention to helping groups create the conditions for successful group work. I want fewer people to have to endure group assignments that they could do faster and better themselves. Continue reading “I Hate Group Work”

Adept at Adapting

The slowest pace of change you will ever experience for the rest of your life  is happening right now.

~The Adaptation Advantage
(McGowan and Shipley 2020)

Did you sigh when you read that?

We know the pace of change is accelerating. We also know the need for continuous adaptation isn’t disappearing anytime soon.

And we’re getting some good practice at it! We’ve been invited and forced to adapt more in the past year than at any other time in our lives. Continue reading “Adept at Adapting”

When Inclusive Isn’t Safe

One of the key skills of a facilitator is ensuring all voices are heard. It’s something we keep in mind in every meeting and in the overall design of projects. Within the core competencies of the International Association of Facilitators, we pledge to promote inclusiveness by encouraging “positive regard for the experience and perception of all participants.” In the IAF Statement of Values and Code of Ethics, members “strive to engender an environment of respect and safety where all participants trust that they can speak freely.” Hearing from everyone in the room is part of most facilitators’ DNA.

Can you already hear echoes of the contradiction I’m struggling with? Continue reading “When Inclusive Isn’t Safe”


Over the holidays, I got distracted while making caramel sauce. The melted sugar overflowed all over my stove and burned to the bottom of the pot. As I was cleaning up the mess, I tried several ways to remove the char. At one stage, my regular scrubber made no difference, but when I tried a scrubber with a slightly different texture, made of a coarser plastic, it worked like a charm. Continue reading “Bricolage”

A Complicated Happy New Year

“Decision fatigue is real.”

Those exact words were sent to me by three separate colleagues the week before the holidays. And now that we’re back at our desks after the holiday break, I’m curious if we’re actually feeling any more rested. I’ve enjoyed slower days that blended together, full of good food, board games, watching sports on TV and lots of knitting. I’m grateful for the time, but the decision fatigue is still there. Continue reading “A Complicated Happy New Year”