Group Jazz provides consulting and training to help organizations create and support the kinds of teams, communities, and other groups they need to be successful.

Facilitating Organizational Change Processes
Group Jazz is working with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to create a new framework for supporting extraordinary customer service in their organization using processes including Appreciative Inquiry, storytelling, and communities of practice. The project will engage more people more effectively and conveniently in the processes of innovation and continuous learning using online networking tools. We also worked with University of Maryland University College to engage 250 of their customer-facing staff to create a new framework for supporting extraordinary customer service in that organization.

Appreciative Inquiry is a process that elicits stories from multiple perspectives that capture best moments, events, and practices around a particular theme (for example, a customer service process). The stories are then mined to discover and document specific ways the target activity should be conducted in the future. As participants are engaged in the process of generating and exploring these stories, they tend to naturally transform their behavior to move toward that positive vision. Participants are also more likely to see validity in programs based on the output of the process such as new protocols or training. By adding network technology to this process we create a communication environment that the group can use on an ongoing basis for peer-to-peer support as they develop and implement new ideas and behaviors.

Supporting State-wide professional networks
Group Jazz is working as consultant, trainer, and coach for leveraging professional development and statewide teams with technology for the Mid Atlantic Comprehensive Center managed by George Washington University. MACC is one of 21 comprehensive centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education. States served by MACC include Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. MACC's mission is to build the capacity of state education agencies to develop a statewide system of differentiated technical assistance for districts and schools in need of improvement. Group Jazz is helping MACC develop communities of practice and high performing teams to (1) Foster relationships, resource sharing, and comprehensive planning across divisions for the purpose of meeting the technical assistance needs of schools and districts identified for improvement. (2) Use data to identify and differentiate the needs of schools and districts identified for improvement so that appropriate assistance can be delivered to address these needs and (3) design ongoing, job-embedded professional development that helps district instructional leaders build effective practice in schools identified for improvement.

Enhancing Communication Systems for Associations
Group Jazz is working with the American Montessori Society to bring together association staff and volunteers online to plan their annual conference of this 10,000 member service organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting the use of the Montessori teaching approach in private and public schools. In addition to the planning team that uses the Group Jazz environment to deal with everything from program content to marketing to social events at the conference to budget issues, AMS is also using the environment to support other committees, task forces and commissions of the organization. The Board of Directors is also connecting with each other to work on initiatives between face-to-face meetings.

Developing and Supporting Think Tanks
Group Jazz hosts the online community for the International Leadership Forum, a non-partisan, Internet-based think tank composed entirely of top leaders to discuss the major issues facing our global society and to communicate the ideas and wisdom generated in these deliberations to policymakers and to the general public. The ILF Fellows include former US Ambassador to NATO Harlan Cleveland, author/filmmaker Michael Crichton, anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, Biospherian Jane Poynter, survey researcher Daniel Yankelovich, former president of Planned Parenthood Gloria Feldt, actress and former Chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts Jane Alexander, Yale economist and political scientist Charles Lindblom, author Ralph Keyes, former FCC commissioner Nicholas Johnson, and other ILF Fellows and guest experts, plus highlights and policy reports from the ILF conferences.

We also offer occasional public courses on topics including online facilitation and leading virtual teams.


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