Core Services: Facilitate

We help local community groups with meeting design and facilitation. MendoFutures considers requests from the community to help with facilitation of events that further local economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Examples include assisting the Food Policy Council with countywide facilitated planning sessions, facilitating biomass educational outreach events and convening and facilitating a series of meetings with mental health service providers to help them redesign the mental health system in Mendocino County. We solicit volunteers who have completed MendoFutures "Facilitation Training for Chaotic Time" to help with these events.

If you are interested in obtaining facilitation, consultation and/or meeting design services from MendoFutures, please read the attached facilitation policy and contact Judith Harwood at at least one month before your event to formally request our help.

Facilitation Training:

MendoFutures announces its fourth annual "Facilitation Training for Chaotic Times" - a seven day training that teaches participants the skills of facilitation, including how to form high quality questions, design meetings around outcomes, and move groups towards sustainable high functioning organizations.

The teacher and master facilitator, Steve Zuieback, is a long time member of the Ukiah community with over thirty years of experience consulting for organizations such as Ernst & Young, BHP, Coles Myers, California Department of Education, Kaiser Permanente Health Care, National Training Associates and school districts throughout California.

Previous class participants include city council members and managers, non-profit directors, healthcare professionals and private business owners. Ukiah City Council member Mary Anne Landis calls this "a class for our time," emphasizing the "great networking that results from the focus on real community issues with other folks working for the common good here."

This class will meet on October 11, October 12, November 2, December 7, 2012, and January 11, February 8, and March 8, 2013, at Mendocino County Office of Education in Ukiah. The class costs $695 for seven days of training, Steve Zuieback's new book, Leadership Skills for Chaotic Times, and Facilitation Process Flashcards. All days include lunch catered by local chef Jim Stuart. All proceeds go to MendoFutures - a non-profit organization committed to "making local resources work for Mendocino County."

MendoFutures Community of Practice

The MendoFutures Community of Practice is an opportunity for graduates of MendoFutures Facilitation Training for Chaotic Times (FTCT) to practice the skills they learned in the training by working on actual local issues.. The sessions are designed to reinforce specific models and skills by applying them to local case studies.

Briefly, here's how the Community of Practice will work: One or more persons will identify an actual local issue that needs working on and submit a description to MendoFutures. This organization/project then becomes the "client group." A "consultant group" is then formed, composed of FTCT graduates who volunteer to work on this issue by designing a facilitated conversation to critique, design or solve the "client's" issue. Every issue is addressed in a single Community of Practice half-day session.

More on the Process for the Community of Practice:
We have devised out the following guidelines for this process:

  1. All facilitation training graduates will be invited to each Community of Practice event by the MendoFutures coordinator
  2. The MendoFutures coordinator will solicit real-world issues from participants, and the MendoFutures leadership team will choose one issue to focus on at the next Community of Practice event.
  3. At least two weeks prior to the meeting date, the participants who requested the case-study issue (the "client group") will submit a one-to-two-page case brief.
  4. The MendoFutures coordinator will ask for volunteers to serve as the consultant group.
  5. Once selected, the consultant group will use their facilitation training knowledge to design and facilitate the meeting. At least one member of the MendoFutures leadership team will be part of the consultant group. The consultant group will be responsible for internally organizing themselves in order to design and facilitate the meeting.
  6. At the end of each Community of Practice session, a 15-minute After Action Review, facilitated by the MendoFutures leadership team participant, will 1) recap what happened related to consultation and facilitation, 2) describe what was learned (around consultation and facilitation), and 3) list additional ideas around design/ facilitation for consultant groups going forward.
  7. The client group is responsible for documenting the ideas and process recommendations developed in the meeting.
  8. The client group agrees to provide specific feedback to the "consultant group" relative to the facilitated process using a format provided by MendoFutures.

Community of Practice sessions will take place every other month.

Locations will be determined before each session.

How Do I Sign-Up?
There are three levels of participation in each Community of Practice Session:

  1. Participate as a member of the "client group"
  2. Participate as a member of the "consultant group"
  3. Participate in the meeting as an interested member of the community.

If you are interested in attending the next Community of Practice, please email Judy Harwood at to find out about dates and meeting locations. Please indicate which level of participation you are interested in for this meeting - i.e. "client group," "consultant group" or "interested community member."

If you are interested in participating as the client, please submit a paragraph in your email describing what real world project/issue you are interested in receiving consultation around. Examples of client issues: designing a strategic planning session for your organization, addressing a negative result such as increasing customer complaints or rising costs per client, or addressing internal organizational conflicts. Stakeholders involved in the chosen client issue will be encouraged to attend the Community of Practice whether or not they are graduates of MendoFutures Facilitation Training for Chaotic Times.