Click here for my recent interview on the Days of Change podcast

45 authors, 3 editors, 1 host -- the journey of co-creating a global book

The pieces:  3 co-editors based in three different timezones, 45 co-authors located all over the globe, more than 600 pages of written material, 3 days, the dream of creating a book that will impact and uplift a field of practice, 1 host.

The result:  A vibrant, connected, innovative and inspired body of material ready to become a best seller called The Visual Facilitation Field Guide and a group of participants fired up about what they learned and where they could take it.

How it worked:  This was the second time I hosted a booksprint.  I fell into the first one, invited by a group of people who wanted to put their talents to work in a different way than simply writing a report to close their two years of researching together.  What I experienced there led me to believe that there is both a strength and little bit of magic to hothousing a collaborative project together. 

When I met Jeroen Blijsie at the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP...

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Nurturing stories around the table

stories in a word Jan 24, 2018

 I've been hosting an international Booksprint over the past few days.  Around 40 authors are engaged in creating a Visual Facilitation Fieldguide, with the aim of both sharing their expertise and extending the field.  While many authors are working virtually and checking in via Zoom, six of us have come together to work -- and live -- communally in the Netherlands.  You can learn a lot about people from the way they work, but you can learn an equal amount from the way they eat.

Holger and I had a conversation about "bread cultures" -- that includes, for example, all the countries with the sea at their borders: Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and more.  I heard a radio programme once suggesting that the average German eats four slices of bread and a brötchen (a bread roll) every day.  Holger thinks that might be underestimating it!  Our host, a Dutchman, told us that in his younger days of competitive sport he ate a loaf...

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How stories can support cross-cultural understanding

storymaking Jan 15, 2018

My first deep immersion international experience came at 17, when I was an exchange student in Germany during my last year in High School.  The biggest discovery I made was that there was more to difference than just language.  Germans had a different perspective of life than I'd grown up with, and they handled it in a different way.  It was a time when I realised my way wasn't the only way.  It was a time of seeing both the gifts -- and the challenges -- of cross-cultural understanding.  I've been fascinated with it ever since.

At the Beyond Storytelling conference last year, I met Joanna Sell, who is working in this field, using narrative to foster cross-cultural understanding.  She supports cross-cultural teams, people moving from one culture to another and groups and organisations seeking to make the most out of their international people's expertise.

In this interview, I talk to her about how she stumbled onto her passion and she gives some very...

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Find the WHY behind your story

I haven't seen The Greatest Showman yet, but I'm predisposed to like movie musicals -- I got it from my mother. I'm also the person who loves stories -- the behind-the-scenes-what-really-happened-and-how-it-was -- kind of stories. That's why I love this one.

Seems it has taken Hugh Jackman eight years to get this movie made. His vision and commitment led the way for the project's greenlighting and was the inspiration for the entire cast. He also has the reputation for being a very good human and all-around nice guy, as well as being extremely multi-talented. He himself talks about loving to try things and play. All of these qualities make this an excellent example of purposeful and intentional leadership that creates a learning, creative environment. This clip shows what happened when he couldn't help himself but take up the charge. And everyone else responds! And if you listen to the words of the song, they are about a leader finding his deeper purpose -- the WHY behind his story.

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Happy New Year -- what's the new story of you?

So many of us believe new year seems to call for a new start.  Maybe we've done the review and reflection on the year gone by. We've sifted, and sorted and clarified.  We wrote a list of all the things we no longer want and one with all our intentions. We want to start fresh.  We want a new dream in 2018!

Here's the challenge:  New dreams call for changes.  They need attention.  So many resolutions are made, but it can be difficult to follow through.  Why?

Every dream -- every potential change -- is grounded in your story.  This is a great time to invite your story to partner you in the journey.

Whether you realise it or not, your personal story is the road your life is running on.  Do you like where it's taking you? When is the last time you had a deeper look at what helping -- or hindering -- you in reaching your dreams?

The pictures you see here are my own story -- yes, I did this exercise and even illustrated it, discovering a...

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