All Courses

Utilizing our core areas of expertise, we’ve created high-quality, interactive online courses.  We offer some of them through public offerings. We also offer training for teams and organizations. 

We offer Technology of Participation (ToP ®) courses in partnership with Sacramento Professional Facilitators and the Institute for Cultural Affairs:

 
Don’t see exactly what you’re looking for? We can customize courses or build new courses to meet your organization’s needs. Please contact info@rodgithens.com for more information.

Creativity Tools to Jumpstart Problem Solving

2-hour session

Throughout the last year, organizations have been forced to adapt in every way imaginable.  This hands-on workshop introduces simple tools you can easily use with groups to move from identifying the right question to ideating solutions.  We’ll provide tools that you can use individually and with your teams to improve, adapt, and transform your programs and organizations.

This class is an action-oriented two hours, where we apply the tools to a real-world problem you identify.  Come ready to engage in some fun, results-oriented tools!

Goals

This hands-on class applies creativity and problem solving tools to help you:

  • Ask the right questions
  • Look at problems in a new way
  • Combine perspectives to develop novel insights
  • Ideate to generate solutions

Design Thinking: An Innovation Tool for Turbulent Times

4-hour session or two 2-hour sessions

Organizations need customer-focused ways of reimagining internal and external services. Design thinking provides an approach for deep understanding of service recipients’ needs. Organizations can use design thinking as a human-centered approach to transforming programs and services.

Design thinking arose out of product design with its deep focus on user needs and empathy. Today, it also provides a powerful method for transforming service delivery. As organizations grapple with pandemic and post-pandemic needs, they face massive challenges in delivering essential services. Design thinking offers a structure for purposeful redesigning for the user. We can use it to help our stakeholders reimagine services from the perspective of the person who experiences the services. We’ll give you foundational knowledge and skills to facilitate basic design thinking processes.

Goals

In this hands-on training, you’ll gain hands-on experience using design thinking to address an actual organizational challenge. By the conclusion of the session, you should:

  • Understand the fundamentals of design thinking and human-centered design 
  • Complete an actual empathy-focused design process with a team of colleagues
  • Identify opportunities for using this process after the training

This is an ideal course for teams working together to collaboratively solve a problem with a process, service, or product.  Or, it can also be used with individuals from various departments, groups, or organizations.

Agenda

During this fast-paced session, you’ll learn:

  • Why? Design Thinking
  • What? Guides Practice in Tackling a Real-life Design Challenge in Your Team
  • How? To Continue Using It

Framing Programs for Clarity and Impact

2-hour session

Without a clear logic, programs likely fail. Program staff need a clear understanding of resources, processes, and outcomes. At its core, that’s what a logic model accomplishes. In this session, participants build a model for new and existing client-centered initiatives. Participants also practice telling the story of the program’s purpose, rationale, and intended outcomes. This action-focused session is designed for executive directors, program managers, and other leadership.

Goals

In this hands-on training, you’ll gain hands-on experience framing programs and initiatives for clarity and impact. By the conclusion of the session, you should:

  • Understand the Basics of Program Theory
  • Articulate the Importance of Logic Models
  • Develop a Program Logic Model, Including Key Indicators and Outcomes
  • Tell a Story Using the Logic Model Framework

 

Designing Powerful Online Meeting Experiences

2-hour session

Are you tired of hosting mediocre online meetings? Do you need new ways to move teams forward in this new virtual era? 

In this interactive training, you’ll learn how to engage stakeholders online. Engagement provides a key solution to helping teams reach creative solutions to problems. 

Good meetings happen because good planning happens. We’ll provide you with simple tools to design meaningful online experiences. In this hands-on session, you’ll design a results-oriented online meeting. You’ll also learn how to best facilitate interactive online experiences.

Goals

By the conclusion of this session, participants should:

  • Understand the fundamentals of online meeting design and facilitation
  • Design the critical elements of an online meeting
  • Identify the appropriate technological tools to use in a given meeting
  • Use and identify compelling interactive visuals to engage participants

Agenda

During this fast-paced  session, you’ll learn what to do:

  • Before the Meeting – Establish the purpose, design the meeting, identify technology
  • During the Meeting – Engage participants
  • After the Meeting- Implement decisions

Tools and Tricks for Powerful Online Collaboration

3-hour session

Designed for those that feel good about the basics of facilitating online meetings and are ready to add more pizazz to their next online collaboration

Facilitators need to learn new, creative ways to engage participants. Many new tools and tricks have emerged in recently. But tools and tricks are not enough. They are only valuable when they support the meeting purpose. We will help you identify which tools are appropriate where. You will learn what tools to use to keep participants engaged and interested. 

Participants build skills to successfully facilitate online meeting by learning to:

  • Develop confidence in utilizing multiple tools simultaneously to enhance meeting goals 
  • Experience a variety of tools in various scenarios
  • Apply the online meeting design framework for selecting appropriate tools 
  • Assess whether to use tools in various situations

Agenda

Offered in a three-hour format. During this fast-paced session, you’ll use tools and learn new ways to impress participants when: 

  • Informing
  • Seeking Feedback
  • Brainstorming
  • Collaborating
  • Making a Decision

ToP Facilitation Methods—Online Intensive

Nine 2.5-hour modules

The Technology of Participation (ToP ®) is a world-renowned collection of structured facilitation methods that transform the way groups think, talk, and work together. They enable highly energized, inclusive, and meaningful group collaboration that leads to successful outcomes.  ToP supports genuine participation, which leads to long term commitment and quality outcomes, as well as more effective teamwork. Developed and refined by the Institute of Cultural Affairs, ToP Methods recognize and honor contributions from all group members, identify commonalities, and pool contributions into useful patterns – all while welcoming diversity and minimizing conflict.

This course provides an intensive pathway to applying ToP methods, face-to-face or online. This unique format is for individuals who want training that includes both an understanding of these methods alongside hands-on experience with ToP Methods in order to deepen their capacity and confidence to use them in their work.

Schedule and Format

The class meets 2.5 hours for three mornings each week.  It covers one method each week:

  • Week 1: Focused Conversation – a structured approach to meaningful conversations to increase awareness of differing perspectives and foster a deeper understanding of any topic.
  • Week 2: Consensus Workshop – a method to leverage collective thinking to enable individuals to expand their perspectives, identify areas of group agreement, and gain comfort in moving forward with practical and creative solutions.
  • Week 3: Action Planning – the integration of both the focused conversation and consensus workshop methods in a dynamic process to enable any group to create actionable plans that include ownership, timelines, and success measures.

This comprehensive three week, 9-module course provides the knowledge comprehension and skill practice necessary to apply a rich learning experience back on the job immediately. The curriculum includes structured reading reviews, active participation, discussion, and debriefing of professionally-led demonstrations. Participants then design processes, facilitate groups outside of class with a group of their choosing, and report back on their experience. Coaching, provided in small groups and personally for each participant, includes written feedback on facilitation designs and tips for adapting the online tools provided for each situation.

Goals

By the end of the program, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate ability to design and facilitate the three foundational ToP methods.
  • Model neutrality while facilitating the three methods, honoring all participant ideas with equal respect.
  • Identify foundational elements of creating participatory environments online and in-person
  • Create physical or online materials for supporting facilitative methods.