Thinking Lens ®

Reflective Practices Institutes


A typical Reflective Practices Institute brings together 100-120 participants to focus deeply on a topic for 2-3 days. Learning in a Reflective Practices Institute happens through facilitated small group learning communities (communities of practice). Each community of practice is a small group of 6-8 participants who stay together and work with a facilitator throughout all sessions of the Institute. Facilitators are leaders or emerging leaders in the community who are willing to support the learning of others while developing their own abilities as a facilitator and critical friend. We work with planners to identify facilitators who will build leadership capacity in your local community and in our Harvest Resources community.

In a Reflective Practices Institute, morning and afternoon presentations by Margie and Deb are followed by facilitated small group sessions with questions to explore and activities to practice applying the ideas offered.

Facilitators help the group make a commitment to deeply listening to each other and getting all voices brought to the table. They offer encouragement and challenge to keep the group focused on what they can learn together. Participants learn to us a Thinking Lens®, a disciplined protocol for reflecting, seeking multiple perspectives, and making decisions.

Facilitators attend an orientation meeting before the institute begins and then meet together over lunch and at the end of the day during the institute. These meetings provide opportunities to discuss how things are going in the small groups with the content as well as the group process. Facilitator meetings are lively exchanges involving problem solving and deeper discussions about the content and leadership development.

Our institutes result in major transformation for the participants. Ongoing projects are launched from the institute as program staff make commitments and design structures for follow through in their classrooms, workplaces and communities; creating opportunities with cohorts or leadership teams to continue collaboration, reflective practices and developing visionary approaches.