Unexpected Benefits

Benefits 2When I signed on with the FIT Team, I really couldn’t have told you much about facilitation. Eighteen months later I’m amazed at how much intensive facilitation training has changed our team, our understanding of community engagement, and potentially our organization.  I could never have anticipated how it’s changed me both personally and professionally. More

It’s About Strategy

Facilitation SkillsI facilitated a group working on infrastructure development strategies at the Heartland 2050 morning session on July 23rd.  This was second stage work for the Vision Committee.  Small groups had identified desired regional outcomes by 2050 in the June 11th session.  Since then the project’s steering committee and consultants had drafted strategies to “seed” the work of today’s session.  This session’s goal was to identify three actionable strategies for each outcome.  Small groups would review the objectives and draft strategies; brainstorm additional strategies; and report their top three strategies per outcome to the entire room. More

It’s About Expectations

Facilitation SkillsThis was the first time I had facilitated a meeting that wasn’t an internal Omaha Public Library group or a FIT Team pilot project.  I thought the June 11th Heartland 2050 meeting would be a good opportunity to practice my facilitation skills.  I wouldn’t have to worry about details like inviting participants, planning the agenda, and other tasks. More

What Counts Gets Measured: 2013 Results

Measure 2The Omaha Public Library had 5,785 program, outreach, and community engagement events with a total attendance of 185, 231 in 2013.  The total average attendance for all events was 31.  If you break down total average attendance by audience, the results are 49 for adults, 63 for young adults and 105 for children.  If you further break down the total average attendance by event type and audience, the numbers are still smaller. More

It’s About Adaptability

Facilitation SkillsI was excited to be part of the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) Heartland 2050 forum on June 11th.  I was invited to facilitate a conversation that hoped to move Omaha toward a vision of its future.  This invitation was a privilege and honor.  I thought we would work in pairs with all supplies provided.  We would meet one hour prior to the start time for training on the information they were hoping to elicit from the forum. More

What Counts Gets Measured: Part 3

Measure 2Although we had created definitions and provided examples for Programs, Outreach, and Community Engagement statistics, staff was sometimes confused about applying the criteria to their own activities and events.  When questions arose, they were encouraged to call Terry Wingate, Staff Development/Metrics Manager to work through the problem.  Terry would often consult with me before giving staff an answer needed to complete their monthly statistical report. More

It’s About Control

Facilitation SkillsI was a guest facilitator at a Heartland 2050 vision committee meeting.  This was an opportunity to experience facilitating a meeting that another person had designed and set up.  I would also discover the benefits and challenges of facilitating someone else’s meeting. More

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