Interactive Facilitation

The cliché is, “The most interesting part of the meeting was the breaks.” Common Knowledge Associates designs meetings that are as interactive as the breaks!

Craft Highly Interactive Events

Nancy pulled off a great feat at the US Army KM conference. She got the whole room talking, all 200 of them! It broke the mold of presentation after presentation. The conference feedback was overwhelmingly, "Let's do more of this at the next conference." - COL Charles Burnett, Deputy Director, Center for Army Lessons Learned, Fort Leavenworth, KS 913-684-9584, DSN 552-9584

Designing and facilitating interactive events is the most frequently asked for service at Common Knowledge Associates. Clients speak of Nancy Dixon as the consummate facilitator – able to get even the toughest groups engaged.

From long experience we know that we can be most helpful when we are involved early in the planning stage of a conference or retreat.  There is certainly skill in the facilitation, but it is the way the meeting is structured that makes the greatest difference. Common Knowledge Associates works with the planning committee to design the structure of the event, space, and facilitation to produce events that meet and exceed the client’s goals. 

  • Keynote speakers and presenters need the freedom to “do their thing” but there are small changes that can turn a didactic session into an interactive one. We work with the keynote speakers to help them weave those changes into their existing presentations.
  • We help to identify critical issues from the field that need to be explored and shared in the meeting. It is not just talking – but talking about “what matters” that is critical.
  • How the day begins is significant. Getting participants talking early on about issues of interest and concern sets the tone for active participation. We have learned that “how it begins, is how it continues”. 

Always, foremost in our minds is, “how to leverage all the knowledge in the room.” After meetings we hear over and over that, “The presenters were good, but it was the opportunity to have in-depth discussion with peers that made the meeting so unique.”

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What Clients Say

"Nancy provides strategic insights to ConocoPhillips. Her ideas spawned our knowledge sharing program (still flourishing today). She was instrumental in getting our execs onboard: a company that connects and operates like a global company would drive business value..."

Dan Ranta
Director, Knowledge Sharing, ConocoPhillips

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"I am impressed by Nancy’s work on knowledge transfer and sensemaking. Her recent work on collective sense making, harnessing collective wisdom to handle organizational complexity, is ground breaking and fascinating..."

Eric Tsui, Professor, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and
VP Hong Kong Knowledge Management Society

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“I know that Nancy understands better than anyone the difference between mere talking and real communication. She is expert at helping groups of people speak listen authentically and intelligently as an important step toward shared understanding, effective problem solving, and innovative thinking..."

Don Cohen
Managing Editor, NASA ASK Magazine

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"HEMA Academie is the largest online academy in the Netherlands, we made the course "Common Knowledge Organizational Learning" because of an interview with Nancy. She is gifted with a special kind of energy and has the power to analyze complex problems as an enthusiastic team player..."

Drs. Helma van den Berg,
Head of production, HEMA Academie

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"Working with Nancy, I've seen first-hand the power of collective sensemaking. Bringing analytic tools to bear provided new insights into interdependent activities, overall system functioning, and leverage points. Collective sensemaking helps teams work smarter."

Mike Silver
SVP of Corporate Operations, HealthInsight

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"Nancy pulled off a great feat at the US Army KM conference. She got the whole room talking, all 200 of them! It broke the mold of presentation after presentation. The feedback was overwhelmingly, "Let's do more of this at the next conference."

COL Charles Burnett
Deputy Director, Center for Army Lessons Learned, Fort Leavenworth, KS

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"Her approach to collective sensemaking drives how we teach knowledge management, facilitate communities of practice, and coach highly effective teams of leaders. There is no better way to create competitive advantage in the 21st Century knowledge environment."

Mike Hower
Chief Learning Officer, Strategic Knowledge Solutions, Inc.

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Recent Client Successes

The US Army KM conference had a very traditional format, three or four speakers in a row, with a few minutes of Q&A then on to the next speaker. Working with the conference design committee, we introduced interaction opportunities spread throughout the conference that made a huge difference for participants...
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Ecopetrol, the largest company in Colombia, held a Technological Environment Forum to build a knowledge management strategy for the company through the work of more than 100 leaders. The Forum contacted Nancy and asked her to come to help them understand effective knowledge management strategy...
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Huawei had twice attempted to implement KM without having achieved the results that had hoped for. When Huawei contacted Nancy, they knew they wanted to focus on the human side of KM, drawing on what people were learning through their on-the-job experience and how to spread that knowledge...
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The Institute for Healthcare Improvement is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. I have had the pleasure of consulting to IHI, particularly in the area of “spread” for over 10 years. But until recently IHI has not had a knowledge management program or staff...
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We were able to help save the knowledge developed in the canceled NASA Constellation project. Working with NASA’s Dave Lengyel, we brought together engineers from all 10 NASA centers to develop a knowledge capture strategy...
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