work journal

Facilitation & Coaching

Lean into the process. You may be astonished what you create.

Reflections after a workshop marathon

After leading many workshops this past month, I'm reflecting on what I saw and learned before I launch into the next thing.
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Making online connections in person

Traveling Dallas and Austin, I met up with colleagues, new and old. Some I'd met before, but most were online-only until this trip. It's always worth it.
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A letter to Sophie (and maybe to you, too)

You told me about the trails you’ve run down in your business. The rocky hillsides, the summit views, and the steep, dark, slippery descents that had you wondering if you’d make it back.
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Presenting Light & Seed

The first issue of Light & Seed, a reimagined, next-generation print magazine is a capstone to my publishing career, and the result of months of intentional strategy design and implementation.
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Use Clean Questions to keep your assumptions from making a mess

Learning more about how others move through the world, increasing understanding, and reducing miscommunication.
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What climbing taught me about leadership and teamwork

A friend sent me these old photos out of the blue, and they have me thinking about a few of the things I learned from climbing.
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Why? Or: the sticky note that stuck

Conflict and chaos can lead to renewed hope, belief and commitment.
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Moderating a panel discussion for Farm to Crag

After 23 years of asking questions for a living, I did it live for the first time in a panel highlighting three leaders in the Montana food system.
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Strategy workshop: American Bank Leadership Retreat, Round 3

By now, this team knows when I show up, it’s time to dig in, think fast and get creative. And they always have a good time while they’re at it.
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What it takes to collaborate across differing perspectives

We need to see each other as humans first.
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"Even though so much has changed, the plan is still helpful."

In 2020, I helped Blue Bean Coffee develop a strategy for growth—their way. Three years later, after the Yellowstone River flood lapped their doorstep, the family-owned roaster has used our plan to source the "most eco-friendly packaging on the planet."
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Strategy workshop: Montana Food Matters

We set a goal for the morning and assessed what's moving this team forward and what's holding them back. Then the reframe. Always the reframe. This is where they figured out if the place they think they’re going is *actually* where they’re going.
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Pulling the threads of my career journey

In the rearview, I see threads: Building things—or rebuilding them. Learning how the world works and what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. Finding hidden connections everywhere. Seeking the essence of people.
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How to work through hard topics together

“The workshops allowed me to hear everyone’s view and take it in. Very rarely are you in a place where you have all the different opinions, and you all get to share them."
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Learning and using visual facilitation

"People always tell me they don't know how to draw," said Charles-Louis de Maere, as he opened our course on visual facilitation. "I have stopped believing them."
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Leading a strategy workshop? Make sure you "take the dog out."

Your group needs a moment to breathe. This lets them process the massive amount of ground covered in a workshop, and then find the hidden connections that bring it all together. To get there, as I learned from my puppy, Lulu, “take the dog out.”
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Designing a theory of change: Iqra Fund founder Genevieve Walsh

Iqra Fund builds sustainable school systems in northern Tribal Pakistan. A decade in, the nonprofit's founder and CEO needed a clear, simple and compelling visual to communicate both the org's model and her vision for long-term impact.
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Strategy workshop: Hannah Featherman and the National Forest Foundation

The process of bringing a purpose, vision, mission and set of values to life can be both messy and magical. If you get the chance, do this work in person.
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Climbing, food and community

Finding connections between food systems, wild adventure and community on a trip from Yosemite to Chattanooga and back home to Montana.
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Ode to a colleague and friend, Dylan Hale Thornton

Dylan is one to watch. Better yet, partner with him and change the world.
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Help me design a strategy workshop?

I helped Iqra Fund founder and CEO create a strategic planning workshop to lead her with her team in Pakistan. The outcome: The team created an entirely new program that has the potential to leverage Iqra's mission many times over.
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When different perspectives = different realities

"My mom is 8 feet tall and weighs 90 pounds." A hilarious and insightful lesson from my daughter in the form of the classic kindergarten Mad Libs. Plus an exercise to use with your team.
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Blair Hensen is changing the way we talk about love and adventure.

I've been helping this wilderness guide-turned-therapist build the foundation of a business that melds her two passions.
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Strategy design: the National Forest Foundation's magazine

By listening deeply and weaving in ideas from a broad team, we created group alignment behind what will ultimately become an entirely new publication.
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