"Good ideas are like Nike sports shoes. They may facilitate success for an athlete who possesses them, but on their own they are nothing but an overpriced pair of sneakers. Sports shoes don't win races. Athletes do."


- Felix Dennis

Another way to read this quote involves looking at and interaction with the "people" in the shoes. That is exactly what a facilitator does. According to the Merriam Webster dictionery, "facilitate" means "to free from obstruction or difficulty, to grease, loosen (up), smooth, unclog. Related Words include accelerate, expedite, hasten, hurry, quicken, rush, speed, advance, forward, further, promote; abet, aid, assist, help, improve; disentangle, straighten (out), untangle; simplify, streamline."


In order to facilitate successfully and effectively, one must be able to manaage both the process and the content in a neutral fashion, encourage full participation, record "exact words," negotiate authority with the sponsor, address inappropriate and encourage appropriate behaviors, and generally


In addition to certifying over 400 individuals in Basic and Advanced Facilitation skills through Mid-America Regional Council, a nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bi-state Kansas City region, I have facilitated the following interventions:

  • Multi-year President Obama Mental Health initiative table, group and action planning facilitator;

  • Blue Ribbon Task Force - Police Governance on behalf of Mayor Sly James;

  • MARC-sponsored Regional Health Care Initiative - Children's Behavioral Health System Change intervention to identify collaborative issues;

  • National Patient Advocacy Certification Task Force (PACSC);

  • International Human Resource annual meeting for Eli Lilly in which objectives and strategies were identified;

  • Johnson County KS Library staff and community 2013 Strategic Planning Meetings;

  • Bi-state solid waste planning session during which 10+ city / county entities made reduction commitments for through 2020;

  • Business-licensing task force charged with making recommendations to the City Manager and Mayor for significant increases and process modifications to the collection process without alienating local establishments;

  • Contentious neighborhood association meeting to establish and enforce behavioral groud rules and disruptive constituents;

  • Healthcare Safety Net Task Force launch, structuring interactions and limiting time frame for a contentious group with no history of collaboration;

  • Full company effort to design and memorialize Job Standards involving 600 employees;

  • Major university + their Hispanic Advisory Board, a partnership that had not developed.




"Jari did a wonderful job facilitating our annual planning session this year. She was able to keep us focused and on-task, and prevented us from getting off in the operational weeds. I would recommend Jari to any organization that needs a meeting facilitator."


Aaron Goff, President/CEO at K.C. Police Credit Union


"Jari provided our organization with facilitation skills that I use to this day. Her blended learning solution of classroom material, real-world examples and role-play was intense, but effective. She gave us many different tools to use when breaking down a problem, and working toward the best possible solution. When it comes to organization development or facilitation needs Jari is hands down one of the best in the business."


Dan Tye, Training Manager at Polsinelli


"Jari's reputation as an excellent facilitator in our community preceded my working with her as a member of the Mayor's Commission on the Governance of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. She has moved the group through the discussion of complex, substantial issues and into a decision-making framework that will yield a solid recommendation for the city's elected officials. I have learned a lot just watching her work."


Carol Grimaldi, Manager, Public Engagement and Advocacy at Cornerstones of Care

​© 2020 by Jari Holland Buck