As a facilitator I design and lead processes that help groups to learn together, to make decisions and plans together, and to achieve common goals together. As a trainer I design and deliver courses that help people to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to facilitate groups effectively themselves. As a consultant I make my expertise available to clients and groups as I work with them to achieve the change that they are seeking. I draw a clear distinction between the three roles, but very often I play two or more of these roles in a single project in order to develop capacity for the future while accomplishing the task at hand. I work online as well as face to face.
I draw on a wide range of methods and approaches in my tailored facilitation work, including Appreciative Inquiry, Future Search, Open Space and World Cafe among others. In all of my work, however, I draw on the Technology of Participation (ToP), the approach pioneered and refined by ICA in over 50 years of experience worldwide. This is a proven system of methods and tools that can be adapted and applied to help all sorts of groups accomplish a wide variety of tasks together. The main methods and tools are described in the descriptions of the training courses in which they are taught (below). The core values of the ToP approach, which inform all of my work, are:
- inclusive participation
- teamwork and collaboration
- individual and group creativity
- ownership and action
- reflection and learning.
My facilitation work is all tailored to help a particular group achieve a particular goal in a particular context. There are, however, a number of common scenarios for which I am often asked to help. These include:
- team and Board retreats or away days
- project planning, strategic planning, and progress reviews
- team building and partnership working
- organisational development and transformation
- stakeholder engagement and consultation
- leadership development and capacity building.
My training work is primarly focused on the methods and skills of ICA’s Technology of Participation and the wider IAF Facilitator Competencies. I draw on my own experience and the wealth of curriculum developed by ICA over many years to design and deliver tailored programmes to help particular groups to meet their learning goals.
I am an ICA Certified ToP Facilitator (CTF) and a licensed provider and experienced lead trainer of the full range of ICA:UK ToP courses, including the following core courses which are accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management for an ILM Development Award:
- Introduction to Group Facilitation – exploring the role and skills of the facilitator – 1 day
- Meetings That Work – Practical tools to design and lead effective meetings – 2 days (New for 2017!)
- Group Facilitation Methods – introducing the foundations of the ToP approach, two powerful techniques for structuring effective conversations and building group consensus – 2 days
- Action Planning – participatory planning for short-term projects and events – 1 day
- Participatory Strategic Planning – bringing people together to create strategies for action – 2 days
- Organisational Transformation – frameworks and tools for facilitating ‘whole systems’ change – 2 days
Participants in ICA:UK ToP courses are eligible for student rate IAF membership, representing a 50% discount on their first year’s fee. I deliver in English only, and in English with simultaneous interpretation. I draw on the worldwide ICA network to provide ToP training materials in many languages, and to arrange for experienced local ToP trainers to deliver with me (or without me) in many languages. See also ToP facilitation training at your place – and free places for you!
I am in business as Martin Gilbraith Associates Ltd – registered company #08583435, registered address Unit 11 Hove Business Centre, Fonthill Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 6HA, UK.
I welcome the opportunity to offer an initial telephone consultation at no cost and with no obligation, and I am glad to offer reduced rates or pro bono services when I can to groups that I am keen to support. So, if you may be interested in having me work with you, please contact me.