I facilitate organizations to better fulfill purpose by:

  • Holding space for emergent possibilities
  • Designing and running meetings and trainings that are connecting, effective, and lively
  • Finding and trusting your group’s wisdom

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Over years of helping groups function well, a considerable body of written work has accumulated to support that journey. I post articles, handouts, workshop exercises, and other writings freely for the public, in order to support you and your group’s development. Aside from my own work (and a few guest posts by friends), there are also pointers to resources by others.

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Group Works

Why is it that some meetings bring life to your soul, while others leave you wishing you’d never stepped in the room? What happens at the best ones, that makes them productive, fulfilling, sometimes even magic?

In addition to considerable client work, my experience includes founding and stewarding the Group Pattern Language Project, collective nonprofit publisher of Group Works: A Pattern Language for Bringing Life to Meetings and Other Gatherings. This project drew together more than 50 experienced facilitators to distill the core wisdom of healthy group dynamics, resulting in the creation of a 100-card deck. Since publication in 2011, Group Works has been used by thousands of people in dozens of countries to plan events, reflect afterward, assess skills and gaps, problem-solve dilemmas, bring energy and spirit to sessions, and more! Available for free download.

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Liberated Organizations (aka “Teal”)

The book Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux currently serves as a major inspiration and influence. Part of a movement toward evolutionary, liberated, or “next stage” organizations, this work is inspiring people around the world to design associations driven by clear purpose, welcoming people’s whole selves, and distributing power and authority to achieve fantastic results.

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In the past two decades, i*ve worked with more than 200 organizations—nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, cooperative living associations, faith congregations, activist troupes, educational institutions, conferences, and assemblages of every sort. Examples include:


Small-Business Organization Development
Sperry Tree Care (2013-2015)
Family-run business with 20 employees. Led group in looking together at current issues, including business succession and cross-departmental cooperation. Facilitation of bi-weekly management team meetings, monthly family meetings, occasional all-staff sessions.

All-Levels Training for Employee-Owned Business
Organically Grown Company (2015 & 2016)
Developed and led trainings for meeting leaders within a company of 250, attended by all levels from CEO to truck drivers, to increase skill leading all kinds of meetings from shift change to financial review. Assisted in drafting guide to healthy meetings, supported implementation of improved meeting practices.
Church Discernment and Goal-Setting
Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver (2013)
Using Appreciative Inquiry and World Cafe methods and the services of a graphic recorder, facilitated full congregation in discernment and selection of priorities to focus on for the next few years.  
Community Facilitation Intensive Series
British Columbia, Canada (2009-2011); California (2005-2007)
Students designed and led real meetings on host communities’ toughest issues, supported by coaching and teaching from Tree. In depth training and learning with eight 3-day workshops in each series. Aimed at regional capacity-building among cohousing groups, which are self-managed condo associations of one to three dozen households, run by consensus and sharing the work.

Conference Keynote
Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon (2011)
Keynote presenter at annual conference of 60+ support group leaders for people with Parkinson’s disease. Led interactive training with table practice to address skills such as supporting people to go deeper and stepping in when someone talks too long.


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About Kavana

I feel blessed with a calling in Frederick Buechner’s sense: “Where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” I take pride in being an eclectic and adaptive practitioner, tuning into the group and balancing structure with flexibility. I’m a pragmatic idealist who believes in the power of high-quality conversation to generate collective action for change; i* find following a group’s energy to see where it leads an endless source of learning and growth. Fundamentally, my work is guided by values of curiosity, service, integrity, and love.

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