whole-brain thinking

 A Whole-Brain Thinking Approach to Meeting Facilitation

We design and create strategic conversations brainstorming sessions, and dialogue by creating an inviting environment for open discussion and fresh thinking that draws out the collective wisdom of the group. We help your group stay focused, ensure everyone is seen, heard and understood, and facilitate progress towards achieving a satisfying outcome. We incorporate the principles of World Café, Appreciative Inquiry and Design-Thinking when hosting meetings.

World Café asks what if…?

* The future is born in webs of human conversation?
* Compelling questions encourage collective learning?
* Networks are the underlying pattern of living systems?
* Human systems–organizations, families, communities–are living systems?
* Intelligence emerges as the system connects to itself in diverse and creative ways?
* Collectively, we have access to all the wisdom and resources we need?

The Principles of the World Café

* Create Hospitable Space
* Explore Questions That Matter
* Connect Diverse People and Ideas
* Encourage Each Person’s Contribution
* Listen Together for Patterns, Insights and Deeper Questions
* Make Collective Knowledge Visible

Appreciative Inquiry (AI)

AI Model

We believe in positive psychology and the philosophy of Appreciative Inquiry (AI): that people and organizations flourish when they focus on human ideals, achievements, and best practices.

AI begins with a grounded observation of the “best of what is,” then through vision and logic the group collaboratively articulates “what might be,” ensuring the consent of those in the system to “what should be” and collectively experimenting with “what can be.”

DISCOVER: The identification of organizational processes that work well.
DREAM: The envisioning of processes that would work well in the future.
DESIGN: Planning and prioritizing processes that would work well.
DESTINY (or DELIVER): The implementation (execution) of the proposed design

Whole-Brain Thinking

Whole-Brain thinking helps participants think strategically, weaving right-brain imagination with left-brain logic to analyse, conceptualize, and plan.

Arts-based activities add life and vitality to the process. Art creates a bonding experience that facilitates collaboration and accelerates the ability to get to the heart of the matter. Images externalize the unconscious and make tacit knowledge visible. Images make it easier to discuss the undiscussable. Artistic processes help us appreciate that many points of view contribute to the whole, and serve as catalysts for deep and meaningful discussion through metaphor, storytelling, and envisioning new possibilities for the future.

These processes produce desired outcomes in dramatically less time than through traditional methodologies.

See also Design-Thinking as a Strategy for Innovation


  • Create a shared vision. Envision the future direction of your organization, gain consensus with little conflict and drive strategy from the top down and bottom up.
  • Formulate a strategic plan
  • Employee engagement
  • Find shared values quickly and without the aggravating kind of debate.
  • Prototype possibilities for future directions.
  • Rehearse “what if” options that lead to meaningful insights regarding change.
    Create an aesthetic experience that helps leaders make tacit knowledge visible; e.g. patterns, processes and relationships.
  • Brand development
  • Nurture relationships between dissimilar groups, fostering an appreciation for diverse and pluralistic points of view.
  • Being “Zen present” through ‘artful reflection’

Testimonials for Linda Naiman:

The University of British Columbia

The Department of Health, Safety and the Environment has had annual planning and professional development sessions for over ten years. In 2000 we experienced a significant turnover of staff and wanted to have a reconnect with the mission/objectives of the department and our role in the University. We also wanted to re-establish our organizational identity, agree on our core values and explore customer communication and recognition. From our previous experiences we knew that we wanted an open free flowing discussion.

Linda provided the vehicle, and through art activities and exploration of thoughts the full day session was very helpful. The department members have a broad range of backgrounds, education and experiences. The use of painting and images helped to broaden our discussions and was fun. The output of this session has been used to develop our departmental plans and individual performance plans.
Linda is an excellent facilitator and was able to bring out our best. All of the staff contributed openly and their ideas were incorporated into the results. A new feeling of unity and the desire to contribute to departmental success has emerged. Thank you.

Wayne Greene, Ph.D.
Director, Department of Health, Safety and the Environment
University of British Columbia

Corporate Off-site Retreat:

I’ve thought a great deal about our experience with you and about art in business. You are involved in a truly pioneering effort to help us keep the personal, ‘heart matters’ in the foreground as we manage our increasingly ‘technical’ business. Successful pioneering in our own industry starts with the sharing of a new, different, and compelling corporate vision. A shared vision is possible only if each of our personal visions are brought forward, honored and made part of the whole picture. We can articulate our personal vision only as well as we can reveal our true selves. Revealing one’s true self is an artful act, and a matter of the heart.

Your work with us showed this so well, and your quote from Gandhi –“If you want something really important to be done you must not merely satisfy the reason, you must satisfy the heart also” — echoes the learning. For those who would ask, ‘… and just how does art benefit my business?’, I would offer, “If your business has important, pioneering work to do, then develop artful capabilities in your associates just as well as technical skills, else you’ll work at half-strength at best, and risk losing all the benefit of their passion.” Now, there is a connection between art and the bottom line.
Albert Gibson, R&D Manager,
multi-national food products company

Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES)

I was pleasantly surprised how quickly and effectively Linda applied concrete meaning to our workshop goals and had us thinking both creatively and practically.
It was a wonderful blending of traditional and artistic approaches that produced viable feedback from participants in a fun way. I saw different sides of colleagues and myself. I would definitely recommend Linda’s workshop for any group interested in creative approaches to working together. Very beneficial, thanks!”
— T. Keetch


Please share!