Six of nine members of our new Leadership Team were able to gather face-to-face in London last week to begin to plan the year ahead for IAF England & Wales. We are excited by the prospects for expanding and developing IAF E&W’s activities and network over the coming year. If you share our interest in facilitation in England & Wales, then we hope you will be excited to join us!
We used the ToP Historical Scan method to reflect and learn together on the unfolding story of IAF and facilitation networking in England & Wales from the 1990s to the 2020s – in order to ‘review the past to prepare for the future‘, and to get to know each other better in the process. Then we used the ToP Action Planning method – to clarify our context and parameters, to brainstorm our images of victory and to review our current reality, to agree our commitments and to plan who will do what and how we will work together as a team.
We will share our plans in more detail after our first monthly online team meeting in June, to allow time for us to share and develop them further across the team as a whole. In the meantime, and to whet your appetite, a little about our current story and about the new team…
The England & Wales local group or ‘chapter’ of the International Association of Facilitators has been convening ‘IAF facilitators & friends’ free facilitation meetups since 2013. Organised at first by Julia Goga-Cooke, we met monthly on Thursday evenings in London hosted by Martin Farrell. I took over as meetups organiser in 2016. We diversified our London meetups to include afternoon learning meetups and morning coffee meetups as well as evening socials, plus occasional special meetups such as (upcoming in June) with Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge. With the support of members around the country we launched quarterly meetups in the North and the South West of England, and an annual all-day, all-England & Wales meetup in Birmingham during International Facilitation Week in October.
Our network has now grown to over 400 IAF facilitators & friends in three regional groups, including now 74 IAF members and 15 Certified Professional Facilitators (CPFs). We network online as well face to face. Join us in London & SE, the North or the South West, and join us also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
An online survey launched last December attracted an enthusiastic response (now 39 and counting), and indicated considerable interest for more and different activities, for new locations and for new ways to get more involved. An invitation to join a new leadership team was circulated widely in March, and was followed by a pair of online meetings for those that expressed an interest.
The team of nine that has emerged comprises newer and long-standing members of IAF and of our three regional meetup groups. Connect with us via the IAF online member directory or LinkedIn, and on twitter, and let us know if you have any questions or ideas for the areas of responsibility that some of us have already taken on:
- Gary Austin CPF @circleindigoGA, Hertfordshire – partnerships with like-minded organisations & networks
- Helen Coley-Smith, Ispwich
- Sharon Dale @pixlz, Leeds – buddying & mentoring
- Martin Farrell CPF @MartinFarrell, London
- Martin Gilbraith CPF @martingilbraith, London – team operations
- Carisse Hewer @carichi, London – International Facilitation Week meetup
- Steve Lloyd, Plymouth – finances
- Elizabeth McDonnell @EliMcD, Salisbury – meetups and connections between them
- Penny Walker CPF @penny_walker_sd, London