Friday, 23 October 2009

IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator

Steve Rothwell has achieved re-certification by the International Association of Facilitators as a Certified™ Professional Facilitator.

Member - International Association of FacilitatorsFacilitation is a profession rapidly taking its unique place alongside those of consulting and training.  This is a specialist skill that can help deliver improved results you need through a mix of leadership, process, coordination and coaching skills.  The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) was formed by a group of professionals in January, 1994 to develop and promote these skills. Since then the IAF has grown to over 1500 members in more than 63 countries. 

Certification is based on rigorous peer review of knowledge, experience and demonstration of skills. The IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator designation indicates attainment of these core competencies and offers clients an assurance that those who are certified are qualified to design and provide group facilitation services.  Introduced in 2008, re-certification aims to protect this assurance by requiring facilitators to undergo assessment every 3 years. To find out more about IAF Certification click here.


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Idea Wall

100_0967A common approach to parking ideas and issues during a meeting or workshop is to write them up on a flip chart set aside for this purpose.  A couple of examples below.







How about if you want to take this further and actively encourage people to fill a whole wall with their ideas, issues and realisations?  The answer is to create an Idea Wall.


The Idea Wall should include headings or questions to prompt the participants or to help them better categorise their thoughts.  Including something visual such as a diagram, key word or graphic may attract people to the wall and help their thinking.  Leave space for people to write notes or stick Post-Its.  Here is one example:

IM Away Day 008

IM Away Day 009 IM Away Day 010

Thanks to Milly Sonneman for inspiring the images from her book "Beyond Words".  See more on graphic facilitation here.

Or take a look at some of these books for more ideas.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Mindjet Catalyst is Launched

image Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening and watching Michael Deutch of Mindjet introduce the brand new Mindjet Catalyst - launched today.  Catalyst is Mindjet's latest offering in the world of online collaborative working.

You will be familiar with many of the problems we face at work today.  We tend to work more in silos and less with each other.  We receive a lot of information but don't act on it.  There is a lot of communication but less collaboration.  The challenge is how to help people produce usable things that lead to real action.

Enter Mindjet Catalyst.  Catalyst offers both an online mapping tool and a powerful collection of communication tools.  This collection includes: conferencing (up to 15 participants at a time); video conferencing; whiteboard; document sharing and workspace; VOIP; online surveys or polls.  The mapping tool packages together the best and most used functions of MindManager and puts it on the web.  A map can be developed online, co-edited and then shared in several ways - via social networking sites, email, download to MindManager or copy into the Catalyst workspace.  A map developed in Catalyst allows great collaboration - work can be divided up, progress monitored and all comments logged.  You don't need MindManager to use Catalyst - all your work can be done online.  You can share all kinds of documents and all kinds of electronic media.

imageMindjet seem to have listened to the user feedback on Mindjet Connect and the key concerns all appear to have been addressed.  Catalyst operates in a secure workspace - certified to SAS70 any day now.  There is no client software to download before your invitees can join you - it all happens in a browser window.  Probably best of all is the inclusion of many templates to help you get started with online meetings and idea generation sessions.  This is all presented in a slick looking style with minimal clutter.  The platform allows Mindjet to add new function as frequently as every 6 weeks should they choose.

Catalyst will be a subscription service and you can choose to subscribe to Catalyst and the conferencing tools separately (a great option if you are already signed up to a conferencing service).  Prices are GBP19/USD30 per month per user for Catalyst and the same price for the conferencing suite.  Seems like good value.

More news and screen shots to follow - I wrote this last night when the non-disclosure embargo was still in force.  Thanks also to Michael for getting up so early to give me a preview - I hope the caffeine high has passed without permanent damage.

Go to the Mindjet web site for more