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January News from NCI

January 15th, 2016 by Beth Madsen-Bradford · Comments Off

NCI JANUARY NEWS

 
Collaboration Overload?
We live in the age of collaboration. Everywhere you look, people are realizing that the only way to solve our problems is to work together. However, working together can be a challenge, especially with a large number of disparate stakeholders, acting within their own silos. The latest edition of the Harvard Business Review, titled “Collaboration Overload,” states that the result is too often a series of endless meetings and an unsustainable workload for a small number of key people within an organization. Endless meetings that produce few results can sour people on the process. How can you create a culture of collaboration that is rewarding and manageable for people?
One way is to focus on reducing rework in your project. Rework is an indicator of a dysfunctional process, and the most common culprits are data and people. Rework can occur when key people are involved too late, or left out altogether. Similarly, data that is incorrect or late to arrive can throw the project into reverse.
Charrettes are designed to make the most of peoples’ time by involving them at important decision points. Charrettes also use the technique of time compression to bring key people together to create feasible, innovative solutions quickly. A design team is assigned to develop a set of alternative concepts that are merged into a preferred plan; stakeholders then provide critical review and design input through a series of short feedback loops. In addition, the charrette is an exciting, creative community-building event. Like in a traditional barn raising, lasting relationships develop when people work together intensely on a common cause.
The NCI Charrette System™ guides you through the organization and conduct of a multiple-day charrette that can transform the way your community or organization works together- both on your projects and in your day-to-day work. Learn more through The Charrette Handbook, one of our recorded webinars or in-person at one of our upcoming trainings.

 
Early Registration Discount for Seattle ends this month!
Early registration ends on 1/29 for our NCI Charrette System™ Certificate Training in Seattle, March 7-9. Register before the deadline and save $195 off the full price of $895.
In the NCI Charrette System™ certificate training, you will get a manual stocked with practical tools grounded in a systematized collaborative process while practicing on real case studies. Plus, NCI trainings are so much more than that! Many of the thousands of people who have taken our trainings tell us that the NCI Charrette System™ changed the way they approach their projects as well as their daily work. When you attend an NCI training, you will:
  • learn to use the creative collaboration of charrettes to bring your community together to resolve complex problems and conflicts
  • gain an understanding of how high-tech tools can be used in a collaborative process
  • have a strategy for working with people who traditionally work in their own silos
  • learn how to collaborate without overload

      NCI High-Tech/High-Touch Sessions at  New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, Portland – February 11-13
NCI is partnering with PlaceMatters and Joseph Readdy for two sessions.
Thursday Feb 11, 1:30-2:30 Tour #2: Portland Small Blocks, Superblocks and the Historic Laurence Halprin Fountains Walkshop 
Learn about this historic area of Portland while using the MobileMatters smartphone app to document and assess the walkability of the area. 
 
Friday Feb 12, 3:30 – 5:30: High Tech/High Touch Tools Workshop 
This session will give you a hands-on introduction to effective high-tech tools for stakeholder engagement and idea-generation communication.
NCI Trainings

 
Upcoming Public NCI Certificate Trainings
 
Click on the orange link below for training details and logistics. For full training descriptions including agendas, visit our website.
NCI Charrette System™ Certificate Training
  • Seattle, WA – March 7-9 *Early registration through 1/29
  • Washington, DC – Spring, 2016
  • Harvard University – July 6-8
  • Portland, OR – Fall 2016
NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate Training
  •  Washington, DC – Spring, 2016
  
  
These trainings are accredited with the AIA for continuing education system (CES) units, with the AICP for certification maintenance (CM) credits, and the Congress for the New Urbanism for CNU-A continuing education credits.
Upcoming Partner Events

- February 11-13, Portland, OR
- On-Line: 101e: ABCs of FBCs
 
Placemaking @ Work Webinar Education Series
- Over 40 recorded sessions, covering a variety of topics 
 
The Seaside Institute: Upcoming Seminars
- A range of workshops this winter and spring
 

Comments OffCategories: News/Press Releases

December News from NCI

December 14th, 2015 by Beth Madsen-Bradford · Comments Off

How To Know If You’re Charrette Ready And What To Do If You’re Not

Live Webinar: December 16, 2015, 10am PST/1pm EST

Join Bill Lennertz, NCI Executive Director and Stacie Nicole Smith, Senior Mediator at the Consensus Building Institute, for a live webinar in which they will discuss how to get the most out of your charrette. Two of the most costly mistakes an organization can make are not being charrette ready and not dedicating the right amount of time to the process: scheduling too many days is a waste of resources, while not planning for enough dedicated time means your team can pull an all-nighter, yet still come up short of a complete solution.

Being “charrette ready” means being people ready, data ready and place ready. Of these three, often getting people ready takes the most effort. When contentious relationships threaten a project, it is imperative to connect with those who are not willing to participate in good faith prior to a charrette so when the time comes, everyone is ready to collaborate.

Topics that will be covered in this 90-minute webinar include:

  • How to determine your organization’s charrette readiness
  • What to do when you are not charrette ready
  • Tools for handling tough political divides
  • How to determine project complexity to schedule the correct number of days for your charrette

Register today!

NEW NCI Membership Benefits

As a non-profit, NCI relies on donations and memberships to accomplish our mission. Every year thousands of people download our free reports, papers, presentations and RFP template from our website, and attend our free webinar series.

We are always expanding our reach and working on ways to improve our process. This year we will continue to integrate more high-tech planning tools into the NCI Charrette System™ and integrate design thinking tools into a versatile new Design Thinking + Charrettes process for policy and other non-physical planning projects. We are also beginning the process of taking our curriculum online, making it more affordable and accessible to people around the world.

To thank you for your support, we are now offering new and improved membership benefits (discounted and free products) for memberships beginning at $50. Become an NCI member (or renew) today.

All contributions are tax deductible and can be made easily by credit card, PayPal or check.

NCI Trainings
Upcoming Public NCI Certificate Trainings
For full training descriptions including agendas, visit our website.
 
NCI Charrette System™ Certificate Training
Miami, FL – January 6-8
Seattle, WA – March 7-9 *Early registration through 1/29
Washington, DC – Spring, 2016
Harvard University – July 6-8
Portland, OR – Fall 2016
NCI Charrette Management and Facilitation™ Certificate Training
Washington, DC – Spring, 2016

These trainings are accredited with the AIA for continuing education system (CES) units, with the AICP for certification maintenance (CM) credits, and the Congress for the New Urbanism for CNU-A continuing education credits.

Upcoming Partner Events
New Partners for Smart Growth 15th Annual Conference
- February 11-13, Portland, OR

Form-Based Code Institute Upcoming Courses and Webinars
- On-Line: 101e: ABCs of FBCs

Placemaking @ Work Webinar Education Series
- Over 40 recorded sessions, covering a variety of topics

The Seaside Institute: Upcoming Seminars
- A range of workshops this winter and spring

Comments OffCategories: Benefits of Charrettes · Charrette Organization and Management · Charrette Preparation · Public Participation · Video

Are you charrette ready?

December 2nd, 2015 by Beth Madsen-Bradford · Comments Off

Watch this short video in which Bill Lennertz, NCI Executive Director, talks about what happened to a charrette that was not charrette ready. Before you commit to a charrette, you had better be certain that you’ve done your homework…

How To Know If You’re Charrette Ready And What To Do If You’re Not

Live webinar: December 16, 2015, 10am PST/1pm EST

Join Bill Lennertz, NCI Executive Director and Stacie Nicole Smith, Senior Mediator at the Consensus Building Institute, as they discuss how to get the most out of your charrette. Two of the most costly mistakes an organization can make are not being charrette ready and not dedicating the right amount of time to the process: scheduling too many days is a waste of resources, while not planning for enough dedicated time means your team can pull an all-nighter, yet still come up short of a complete solution.

Topics that will be covered in this 90-minute webinar include:
How to determine your organization’s charrette readiness
What to do when you are not charrette ready
Tools for handling tough political divides
How to determine project complexity to schedule the correct number of days for your charrette

Register today

This webinar is  accredited with the AIA for 1.5 continuing education system (CES) units, with the AICP for 1.5 certification maintenance (CM) credits, and the Congress for the New Urbanism for 1.5 CNU-A continuing education credits.

Comments OffCategories: Charrette Organization and Management · Trainings/Events · Video

NCI Charrettes + Design Thinking – Recorded Webinar

November 4th, 2015 by Beth Madsen-Bradford · Comments Off

Originally presented on October 21st, in this 30-minute webinar, Bill Lennertz, NCI Executive Director, shows how NCI is combining the accelerated collaborative charrette workshop process with design thinking ideation exercises to tackle “non-physical” design problems. NCI charrettes typically achieve collaboration by design through the use of architectural and urban design drawing. But how do you achieve the power of collaboration when the problem doesn’t lend itself to drawing? How do you get beyond flip-chart brainstorming to more creative exercises? This webinar will show how NCI is engaging stakeholders in strategic planning projects using design thinking exercises that achieve innovative solutions.

Key Learnings:

  • The connection between NCI Charrette System™ and Design Thinking
  • How to leverage the power of NCI Charrettes and Design Thinking to solve strategic planning and policy issues

View the recording now.

Comments OffCategories: Design Thinking · NCI Publications/Resources · Stakeholders · Video

Top 5 tools for Design-based Public Participation

October 5th, 2015 by Aarin Lutzenhiser · Comments Off

Check out our latest free webinar presented by NCI Executive Director, Bill Lennerz. Learn about our latest tools, developed and tested on-the-ground for NCI projects in Denver, Norman, OK and Memphis. The way a meeting starts is key to its success. Learn how to positively engage people from the moment they walk in the door to the end of the meeting. Learn how to integrate tech tools and drawing into public meetings. Learn the most effective way to collect input on a proposed plan from a large public meeting.

Top 5 tools for Design-based Public Participation

45-minute webinar recorded 9/22/15

Comments OffCategories: NCI Publications/Resources · Public Participation

NCI Working in the Field: Practicing what we teach

September 10th, 2015 by Aarin Lutzenhiser · Comments Off

In addition to our annual public trainings in Portland, OR and Washington, DC, for the first half of 2015 we have been working on a variety of interesting projects and customized trainings. This ongoing project work means that we bring new, constantly evolving,
real-world experience to everything we do. Coupled with our trainers’ over 25 years of accumulated stories from work in the field, our trainings are both fresh and grounded in a deep history of wisdom and success.

  • Forest County Potawatomi Community As part of our ongoing work with the US EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities under their Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program via a grant to the Project for Public Spaces, NCI collaborated with the Local Government Commission on a mini-charrette for the Forest County Potawatomi Community in Crandon, WI to develop recommendations for a sustainable development action plan for this Native American Tribe.
  • Memphis Fairgrounds An NCI team including Placematters and Equity Consulting Collaborative facilitated live and web-based forums to gather community input in advance of the Urban Land Institute panel on the Fairground reuse project. It was a first for a ULI panel to be preceded by an NCI community outreach process.
  • Saint Mary’s Food Bank NCI is facilitating the application of the NCI Charrette System™ to St. Mary’s Food Bank’s (Phoenix, AZ) strategic action planning process. Operations work teams are crafting action plans using a shared website as well as on-site working meetings. Plans will be merged during a 2-day charrette with management.

Comments OffCategories: Benefits of Charrettes · Trainings/Events · Uncategorized

NCI Customized In-house Trainings

September 10th, 2015 by Aarin Lutzenhiser · Comments Off

Did you know that you can use an NCI in-house training to plan your project and build staff capacity for collaboration? We are hearing from more cities, counties, consultants and developers who want to manage their own upcoming charrettes.

In the last two months, NCI delivered customized trainings for the City of Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning, VA, HDR, Inc.’s military facilities planning group in Colorado Springs, CO and a major east coast private developer. All wanted to learn how to participate in and run their own charrettes. Each training was customized by using the organizations’ own upcoming projects as case studies.

Alexandria brought over 30 staff from community planning and economic development into a three-day training focused entirely on one neighborhood planning area. In what amounted to an on-the-job training, staff applied the NCI Charrette System™ assessment and organization tools to create a project process roadmap for the neighborhood charrette.

The private developer was interested in learning about charrettes in-depth in order to be better versed as a participant in public charrettes. Of particular interest for both groups was the advanced public meeting facilitation boot camp building skills through role-playing exercises.

HDR used four upcoming military facility planning projects as case studies to learn the NCI Charrette System tools. They leveraged the opportunity by including some of their military clients in the training.

Please contact us for more information on how NCI can work with your agency or organization to provide on-the-job training for your project.

Comments OffCategories: Benefits of Charrettes · Trainings/Events · Uncategorized

Lessons from Memphis: How to use a vision wall for a fast meeting start

August 3rd, 2015 by Aarin Lutzenhiser · Comments Off

The usual way many public meetings start is for people to meander in over the course of ten to twenty minutes, visit the sign-in table, sit down with their smart phones or head off for the food. This can make it a challenge to get people’s attention when you need it and it’s simply not a fun way to start an event.

Instead, here’s an example of a more positive and engaging way to start a public meeting. In a recent set of meetings in Memphis, TN this month, NCI engaged people in the creation of a vision wall beginning the minute they walked in the door. This approach got everyone working and on board with the meeting purpose of creating a project vision.

During the check-in process participants were handed three sticky notes and were directed to the vision wall. There, facilitators instructed people to write down three ideas for the future of the Memphis Fairgrounds. A wall poster with the following examples helped them get started: ample park space, attractive to walkers and cyclists, regional recreational site.

Facilitators instructed people to take their sticky notes to the wall. The first person up placed their three notes in a row. Everyone coming after scanned the wall in search of similar ideas. Similar ideas were placed below, new ideas were placed horizontally to continue the top row. Long columns of similar ideas began to emerge.
vision-wall

Once the public meeting began, the vision wall was closed. The facilitators then worked during the first part of the public meeting to first be sure the columns were correctly ordered by similar ideas. They then quickly wrote up ideas from the longest columns on a flip chart for report out at the end of the meeting.

Comments OffCategories: Public Meetings · Public Participation

RFP for Workshop Consultant for South Phoenix Village

June 2nd, 2015 by Aarin Lutzenhiser · Comments Off

Request for Proposals for Design Workshop Consultant for South Phoenix Village
Submission Deadline: Monday, June 22, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. MST

FSL Real Estate Services intends to select a consultant to help plan and facilitate a two-day design workshop and a follow-up presentation to take place in the summer of 2015. The Broadway Heritage Neighborhood Resource Center, at the southeast corner of 24th Street and Broadway Road in Phoenix, has been selected as a venue for the design workshop. The dates of the design workshops will be mutually agreed upon by FSL Real Estate Services, City of Phoenix staff, and the selected consultant.

The attached RFP is requesting a collaborative design workshop (not a full charrette). It does list minimum qualifications that include “formal training in design workshops or charrettes (i.e. through the National Charrette Institute…”

Download the RFP here.

Comments OffCategories: News/Press Releases

Tennessee APA Conference Call for Proposals

May 29th, 2015 by Aarin Lutzenhiser · Comments Off

The theme of this year’s Tennesseee Chapter of the American Planning Association conference is citizen participation and civic capacity building. If you are int he region is will be a great opportunity to explore this topic throughout the September 30-October 2, 2015 conference in Chattanooga. Submit a session on the TAPA website here.

Comments OffCategories: Trainings/Events