Tag Archives: graphic facilitation


The goal of the Future of Our Salmon Conferences is to facilitate dialogue between the co-managers of the resource and a broad range of other interested parties in an ongoing quest for a unified vision of salmon restoration in the Columbia River Basin. Each conference approaches this goal with a different theme.

The following video is an example using graphic facilitation in a conference setting which encourages participant dialogue and participation.

Conference context:  The 2014 Future of Our Salmon conference focused on restoring fish passage to historical locations throughout the Columbia River Basin for salmon, lamprey, sturgeon, bull trout and other migratory and resident species. Out of this conference, we intend to develop principles, parameters and a process to drive the development of a unified strategy that allows Columbia River Basin fish to return to their entire historical range. Learn more Salmon and the Columbia River Basin by clicking this link.

How To Influence Inspired Action

Leadership is much more about the capacity to influence indirectly the people in your organization in a way that results in them taking inspired action.

So how does the metaphor of a lighthouse relate to influence and inspired action? Lighthouses were created to warn mariners of object hazards and to provide a reference point for safe passage. Lighthouses are there through all types of weather.

In this leadership presentation image it means being a trusted presence to offer guidance when it’s needed. Not stepping in and rescuing people or situations. Being a leader of influence requires that you hold a strong faith in your capacity to let people make their way through difficult situations.

  • Leadership can sometimes require that we follow.
  • Leadership is about listening intently and being dedicated to the success of each person and thus the whole of the organization.
  • Leadership is about balancing ones dedication to mission/vision with the human capability of your organization.
  • Leadership is about strong conviction grounded in authenticity, humility and self respect.

At Colibri Facilitation we’ve learned that inspired action comes from a workplace where people give themselves permission to head out into uncharted water’s knowing they will encounter rough seas. People reassured by the strength of their craft and knowing that in the distance they have the support to regain their bearings and find safe harbor. An inspired leader see’s all of this and more.

How are you influencing inspired action?



Water As A Leadership Metaphor

Water is a common metaphor when looking at leadership

Water as a Leadership Metaphor

Over the last twelve years I’ve had the opportunity to visually record leadership synthesis sessions of more than 300 executives. Each presenter was asked to provide a leadership metaphor that described his or her leadership journey. The graphic facilitation example is of one of these many leadership presentations.

The most common metaphor in all the presentations is the presence of water in it’s many forms. Rivers and oceans, swift moving water and the calm of water in a pond or backyard garden. The image of water and leadership together makes me think of a person who provides steady leadership in a rapidly changing if not volatile business climate. A few phrases come to mind, the calm before the storm or the eye of the storm. Or in the image I included, preparing for a raft trip.

In this presentation leadership is about everyone being in the same boat going in the same direction. Our work is a journey of continuous learning. As a leader being reflective of how his or her actions influence others. Jeff reminds us that in every journey we “paint the path” as we go. We have to learn to live with a degree of uncertainty and trust that the journey will unfold.

If we have a strong team and a clear destination point the journey should be fun, a bit scary at times, but in the end a team affirming experience. One we remember and discuss around a warm campfire at the end of the day.

How do you influence the people around you? Comment below; I’d like to know.


The Top 5 Reasons To Hire A Coach

What Is Your Top Reason To Hire A Coach?



The top  5 reasons to hire a coach most likely won’t surprise you. Although we find our clients utilize our services for diverse reasons the underlying needs often point back to this top five list.


The top five client motivations for hiring a coach are:

  1. optimize performance
  2. expand career opportunities
  3. improve business management strategies
  4. increase self confidence
  5. manage life / work balance

This list comes from a recent article from Sherpa Coaching that referred to the International Coaching Federation annual consumer awareness study regarding.

Part of our unique process at Colibri Facilitation includes both utilizing imagery from  graphic facilitation as well as add on coaching (for a specific period of time) with managers and leaders to integrate learning from the group work so that they may optimize performance for both themselves as a leader and their team as a whole.

From our experience we’ve learned that no matter how much energy and excitement comes out of a 1/2 day, full day or multi day business retreat – much of that learning and motivation is lost if it’s not directed and leveraged over a longer period of time with key stake holders towards the intended bigger vision. Because we all know that at 7 am the next morning all of the other team and business needs will also be demanding your attention.

We find it helpful for leaders and managers  to get clear on both the why and how of coaching -why it’s important (reviewing the top 5 reasons may help) and how they want to effectively leverage people, resources and time over a specified period so that they may keep their attention on the desired goals that are created during team business retreats.

So next time you’re ready to bring in outside graphic facilitation be sure to look at the bigger picture of need and longer term desired results so that you can be clear if you too may want some add on coaching to ensure you are motivated to attain the successful results you wanted in the first place.  Reviewing the top 5 reasons to hire a coach may also prove helpful too.