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The Four Faces of Facilitation

Online Event |

As part of CEGIST's seminar cycle, we are proud to announce that Freeman Marvin (Innovative Decisions, Intl., USA) will be presenting "The Four Faces of Facilitation".


This seminar will take place on May 28 at 15h30, online, via Zoom (link below).

Our seminars are free to attend and open to everyone. Please share with whomever may be interested.

Freeman Marvin
Freeman Marvin







In recent years, competition in a global economy, virtual Work From Home (WFH), and advances in analytics and data science have prompted companies and government agencies to downsize, redesign processes, and engage with other organizations in order to cut costs and improve performance. These actions frequently eliminate layers of management and push more decision making down to the workforce. Teams are put in place and given many of the responsibilities formerly assigned to middle management. In these downsized, reengineered, and partnered enterprises, group facilitation is a skill business teams can’t afford to do without.

Success in this new workplace depends upon teamwork and collaboration among people from different functions, levels, and organizations. In these diverse group settings, facilitation skills are needed to design a process for the group, lead discussions during meetings, and move from ideas to consensus and action. Whether the designated group facilitator is a line manager, team leader, professional facilitator or outside consultant—he or she needs good facilitation skills.

The “four faces of facilitation” focuses on the basic group facilitation knowledge and skills that every group facilitator needs.

  • Forming: The Face of the Priest
    • Introductions and Icebreakers
    • Mental Models, Heuristics, and Cognitive Biases
    • Personality Types and Work Preferences
  • Storming: The Face of the Sheriff
    • The M.O.s of Conflict
    • Facilitator Interventions: The 3-ects
    • Ground Rules
  • Norming: The Face of the Guide
    • The 7 P’s of Preparation
    • Zone Maps & Pulse Hikes
    • The Horseshoe Theater
  • Performing: The Face of the Coach
    • Six Thinking Hats
    • Competing Values Model
    • High Performance Teams


Speaker's bio

Freeman Marvin brings over twenty-five years of experience as a decision analyst, team facilitator, and executive trainer for organizations in government and industry. Freeman is a founder and executive principal with Innovative Decisions, Inc. and provides his Decision Advantage facilitation and coaching services to select clients. He works with project teams, task forces, executive boards, and other working groups to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their decision-making. His expertise is in the integration and application of organization development, operations research, and electronic collaboration technologies.

Early in his career as an operations research and systems analysis modeler, Freeman noticed that managers would put a team in a room with a table and chairs and think that they were going to collaborate. What they got was a BOGSAT (Bunch Of Guys/Gals Sitting Around a Table). Freeman became a certified facilitator and started helping people communicate and engage in group settings using meeting management and conflict management techniques he had learned. 

For many problem-solving and decision-making situations, this worked well. However, whenever hard problems or complex decisions arose, teams needed help structuring and visualizing the implications of competing objectives, uncertainty, and alternative solutions. He started bringing his modeling skills and a computer right into the conference room, observing how teams reacted to different displays and engaged each other in deeper conversations. Freeman eventually formed his learning into a new method of facilitation he called Analytic Collaboration. As one client said, “I was very impressed to see how he was able to move the discussion forward to reach our workshop goals. This helped us accomplish a lot more than we would have otherwise.”

Freeman has facilitated decision-making teams in government, industry, and non-profit organizations, helping them with strategic planning, evaluation of alternatives, risk assessment, resource allocation, change management, and team development. He has built decision and risk models for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Internal Revenue Service, the National Domestic Preparedness Program, the World Bank, and many others.

He is a co-developer and instructor for the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) professional development courses, including the Soft Skills Workshop, Essential Practice Skills for High-Impact Analytics, and the Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) Boot Camp. He was the general chairman for the INFORMS Business Analytics Conference in 2014 and served on the INFORMS Job Task Analysis committee developing content and standards for the CAP certification program. He has served as chairman and advisor for the Military Operations Research Society (MORS) Decision Analysis Working Group and as a member of the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Code of Ethics and Statement of Values development committee. He is also a Fellow of the Society of Decision Professionals (SDP).

Freeman has worked as an operations research analyst for Rockwell International and Decision Science Consortium, and was a senior member of the technical staff for Northrop-Grumman TASC. He also served as a technical operations officer while in the U.S. Army on an air defense missile site.

He is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) with the International Association of Facilitators, a Prosci Change Management Professional (CMP), and a Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) with INFORMS. He holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


CEGIST - Centro de Estudos de Gestão
Instituto Superior Técnico

Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049 - 001 Lisboa
Tel: +351 21 841 77 29 (ext. 1729)
Fax: +351 21 841 79 79

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