Who I work with

photo by Adam Swann

I work with people in groups who have some common interest, goal or problem that they need to address together. This includes work teams, management teams and Boards within organisations of all sizes and in all sectors. It also includes groups that cross the boundaries of teams, departments, organisations and sectors. Often these groups come together to enable organisations to engage with their stakeholders or bring about organisation-wide change, or to enable alliances and partnerships to develop and achieve common goals together in the wider community or society. It also includes long and short-term learning communities and communities of practice.

I work particularly with voluntary organisations of civil society, with public and cross-sector partnerships, and with development and humanitarian agencies.  I work locally, nationally, internationally and online, from my home base in London.

My clients most often come to me because they have identified a need or an opportunity for collaboration, but they lack the skills or confidence to bring people together and make it happen. Very often they or the people they need to work with have been frustrated or hurt by experiences of working together before, and they fear further wasted effort or further pain. They all seem to have had enough of conversations that go nowhere, meetings that achieve nothing, and plans that never happen.  For what I do to help clients in such situations, please see how I work.

I often work solo with clients on smaller, simpler and shorter-term projects, and with a co-facilitator or a team on larger, more complex and longer-term projects. To deliver to scale and to draw on additional specialist expertise, I partner with experienced facilitators from my extensive network of associates in the UK and worldwide.

I am an associate provider & consultant of organisations including AlignYourOrg, BOND, EU Agenda, ICA:UK, IFE, Kellow Learning, Lorensbergs & PeopleZone.

Recent facilitation contracts include (scroll down for facilitation training):

  • with Eurochild, process design and facilitation over 6 months to help to engage around 170 member organisations in developing a new strategic plan, including with around 100 member representatives at a General Assembly meeting and with 20 Board members and Secretariat staff at a 2-day planning retreat in Brussels
  • with the Amnesty International International Secretariat, design and facilitation of a 3-day retreat with the global Management Team of around 100 near London; a 2-day retreat with the international Communications Department of around 50 near London; a 3-day retreat with the Europe & Central Asia regional office of around 60 in Slovenia; and a 2-day campaign planning workshop with 25 European Section representatives in Brussels
  • with the Peel Institute, design and facilitation of a one-day Board strategy workshop in London
  • with Girls Not Brides, design and facilitation of a 2-day Secretariat team strategy workshop, and an afternoon ‘Story of Change’ workshop, in London
  • with CENTR, design and facilitation of a Board & Secretariat strategy retreat in Ghent
  • with Wells for India, design and facilitation of a pair of one-day strategy workshop for staff and Trustees in Winchester
  • with Oxfam OPTI, design and facilitation of a series of consultation & consensus building workshops to engage over 100 staff of 4 Oxfam affiliates based in Jerusalem, Gaza & Ramallah in operationalising a new One Country Strategy and Country Operating Model
  • with Astra Zeneca on behalf of Lorensbergs, facilitation of 2-day leadership development ‘labs’ for mixed groups of managers in Luton, Macclesfield, Cambridge & Warsaw plus follow-up “virtual labs”
  • with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, design & facilitation of a one-day, closed Ministerial Forum for Health Ministers and other senior ministerial representatives of high-incidence countries at the 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Liverpool
  • with Lorensbergs, design and facilitation of a 2-day strategic planning retreat for 20 staff & associates in Sweden
  • with the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, design and facilitation of a 9-month programme of member engagement and strategic planning – online, and face-to-face in the USA & the Netherlands – UUA blog
  • with Amnesty International UK, design & facilitation of a 2-day Refugee Summit in London for 100 partners & others responding to refugee issues in the UK – video & storify
  • with Initiatives of Change, design and facilitation of the annual international Caux Reference Group consultation meeting at Caux, Switzerland
  • with the Nansen Centre for Peace & Dialogue, design and facilitation of participatory strategic planning for the staff team in Lillehammer, Norway
  • with Social Platform, design and facilitation of participatory strategic planning for the staff team in Brussels
  • with Deaf Child Worldwide, design & facilitation of a strategy review & planning day for the staff team in London
  • with Edventure:Frome in Somerset, repeated participatory strategic planning retreats for the core team and various stakeholders -see case study
  • with Initiatives of Change, design and facilitation support for the Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Business conference at Caux, Switzerland – see recommendations
  • with the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists, design and facilitation of a 2020 Vision day with staff and Executive Committee in the Netherlands
  • with the Safety & Security Committee for Lebanon, design and facilitation of participatory strategic planning involving staff and members over 3 months in Beirut – see recommendations
  • with Oxfam in Lebanon, design and facilitation of a One Country Strategy process engaging around 150 stakeholders and multiple Oxfam affiliates over 6 months to April 2015
  • with the Oxfam Middle East Gender Equality Programme, design and facilitation of a series of strategic review, planning and organisational change meetings over 3 months
  • with the International Childcare Trust, design and facilitation of a strategy away day for the Board and staff in London
  • with FAO, design and facilitation of the February 2015 online conference “Economics of Climate Change Mitigation Options in the Forest Sector” for over 1,600 international experts – see case study
  • with ICA Ukraine, design and facilitation of the Ukraine PEACE Summit for 250 delegates from local government, business and civil society from the 27 regions of Ukraine to “dialogue on ways to solve issues locally, restore goodwill among all peoples of Ukraine and establish greater regional and city control while strengthening the country of Ukraine”.
  • with the European Training Foundation with AlignYourOrg, design and facilitation of Our ETF, a Journey Together, a one-day event in Turin with 120 staff to celebrate 20 years of ETF
  • with UN Volunteers, facilitation consultancy for the Arab Regional Youth Volunteering Forum with 100 youth, youth experts and other stakeholders in Marrakesh – see video & report
  • with Northamptonshire Country Council Adult Learning service, facilitation of a Curriculum Co-ordinators meeting ‘Journey to Inspection’
  • with Orla Cronin Research, co-facilitation of an online workshop for worldwide contributors to a collaborative writing process taking place in South Africa, the Barefoot Guide 4 WriteshopExploring the Real Work of Social Change
  • with IDMC, design and facilitation of a 5-day participatory strategic planning retreat and first quarter review session with the staff team of 30 in Geneva – see case study
  • with Emergence International, co-design, development and piloting of the Vision/Align/Apply curriculum of the IREX West Bank Partnerships with Youth programme in Palestine over 5 months
  • with Dovetail Strategies, a one-day participatory strategic planning retreat with three core staff in London – see recommendations
  • with ODI, ongoing facilitation of global consortium meetings, and meetings of the Senior Management Team, of the international DFID-funded Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium in London – see recommendations
  • with Cecily’s Fund, facilitation of a Board & staff strategy retreat near Oxford
  • with IFRC and Zurich, facilitation of an international cross-sector partnership workshop on community preparedness and disaster risk reduction in Zurich
  • with the RSA, ongoing facilitation training and support for the Fellowship team and Action Research Centre promoting social innovation in London & elsewhere – see RSA blog post and my blog post
  • with NW London NHS, facilitation of a series of cross-sector stakeholder consultation workshops on local men’s health issues and priorities in London – see recommendations
  • with Sing Up, facilitation and coaching to support the 45 staff of this three-charity national consortium to transition from core funding to a social enterprise business model within 12 months in London, Gateshead & elsewhere – see recommendations
  • with Voluntary Action Lewisham, facilitation of an evening strategy review workshop for the Trustee Board and staff team in London
  • with Bron Afon Community Housing, leading a 12 month programme of facilitation training and capacity building support with 80 managers, engaging over 1,000 stakeholders in developing a new 5-year corporate plan in South Wales – see case study

Recent facilitation training contracts include:

Feedback received from clients and partners includes:

  • Martin is a master facilitator, and has continually delivered for us in a variety of complex and demanding settings
  • Martin can handle a range of situations. He is both creative and honest in dealing with clients, and good at handling sensitive political situations
  • Martin did a great job of facilitating complex two day meetings, with participants from all over the world and diverse backgrounds, difficult agendas and a huge amount of ground to cover
  • Martin’s skills enabled him to quickly understand and simplify a complex subject and design a highly effective workshop with key stakeholders. This enabled the group to collaborate and develop a robust and practical action plan
  • Martin’s project management skills ensured we achieved our challenging deadlines on budget.
  • I would have no hesitation in engaging Martin again to facilitate complex participatory strategic planning workshops, and would highly recommend his training courses to anyone who wants to work collaboratively with their colleagues and stakeholders
  • As a trainer Martin created good atmosphere in an international group. His presentations were crispy clear, illustrated by carefully chosen, practical examples from his rich facilitator experience.
  • Martin brings a rigour to the teaching of facilitation which means that participants leave the workshop fully ready to go and put it into practice the very next day
  • Martin delivered an excellent course.  He spent time understanding our specific requirements to ensure that the delivery was relevant
  • I still regard the Technology of Participation training as the best single course I have ever been involved in.
  • ICA UK’s training sessions for our team have had a significant positive impact on our organisation, and we are glad to continue working with Martin and his colleagues
  • Martin is extremely well organized, unfazeable and empowering. He has a huge toolbox to draw from. I’ve always found Martin extremely supportive in my own personal growth, and would not hesitate to recommend him

For more on my work, and what others have to say about it, please see how I work and recommendations & case studies – or view my profile and connect with me on LinkedIn.

You can connect with me also by joining my free facilitation webinars online, and IAF England & Wales’ free facilitation meetups in London and elsewhere.

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 and let’s talk!

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