About Bickford Collaboration
Barb Bickford, Founder and Principal
I'm a science-based professional
who learned how to work collaboratively.
Many of my clients are professionals in
science-based organizations. Others are in
non-profits, faith-based organizations or are individuals
simply wanting better results
I help all my clients transform their both
their events/meetings and themselves.
I love working with people who are creative,
practical, enthusiastic, willing to try new things and
want to make this world a better, healthier place!
I hate boring meetings.
I prefer using approaches that are easy to use,
practical, effective, versatile, positive
and relatively low cost,
I believe tech tools should not get in the way.
Tech should connect people to each other and their
I work with groups through the lens of integral facilitation.
That is, I consider what is going on outside
(tasks and processes)
and balance those with what is going inside
(within the facilitator and the group)
My go-to methods are liberating structures
such as the Ecocycle
I use them in nearly every meeting I lead
because they engage everyone
and are both efficient and effective
I also use convergent facilitation,
appreciative inquiry, positive strategic planning, clean
language, positive agreements. Learn more at
approaches for changing meetings for good.
Here's what I offer:
Experience in public health, the environment, government, non-profits, small business, facilitation, collaboration and training
Knowledge of how to tap the wisdom of everyone in your group and how to help you to do the same, using approaches that are versatile and effective
Acceptance of you, of your group and of things as they are
Who I am as a professional
There I was, an introverted fact-oriented
Professional Geologist (PG) in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, in my cubicle,
happily reviewing groundwater data and technical
plans for landfills.
Suddenly, I got a mid-career assignment
to coordinate Wisconsin's Medical Waste program.
It required me to work closely with people.
How would I do that? What did I know about healthcare -- let alone collaboration?
I set about learning, and I continue to learn
Although shifting gears wasn't easy, I grew to
become well-known statewide and nationally
for collaborating on challenging and emerging issues such as reducing pharmaceutical waste
and managing highly infectious waste.
I observed first-hand how collaborative
leadership (or lack of it) can impact results.
I now focus on guiding people to transform
public health and environmental health
by transforming their meetings and themselves
Who I am as a person
I've been focused on improving water quality since my first Earth Day.
from preventing groundwater contamination
to recycling and reducing waste
to changing public policies that create waste
to transforming how we adopt policies --
-- I'm always moving upstream
I've been moving upstream personally too,
transforming myself by embracing life challenges
such as overcoming low-self esteem, living with persons who have a mental illness,
divorcing, being a single parent, losing a child,
supporting aging parents and starting a business.
I live in a small town near St. Paul, MN,
with my family and a cat who thinks it's human. My husband and I are both Minnesota Water Stewards. We keep busy planting trees, pulling buckthorn and planning our next canoe trip..
What others say...
Barb is one of the nicest people I know
and is consistently ready to offer her 'best self' to others
for the benefit of the common good.
She can motivate groups and individuals, and encourage them
to stretch their goals and achieve them.
-- Charlotte Smith, President, GreatWorks LLC
(founder of PharmEcology)
Barb is very knowledgeable and easy to work with.
She presents information in a down to earth way.
She is passionate about the environment and you can’t help but catch the bug!
-- Angela Flemming, Dietary/Environmental Services
Director at The Richland Hospital Inc