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About Barb Bickford

Head shot of Barb Bickford
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What I do

I help people who are frustrated with their meetings. Through my consulting and teaching, I help them have more collaborative, effective and efficient meetings. 

I design meetings, planning sessions and retreats and lead them on my clients' behalf. This enables leaders to fully participate in them while I guide the process. My ideal clients value the active collaboration and contribution of everyone in the room. 


I help individual leaders improve their own meetings, as well. My ideal students are creative, practical, enthusiastic, willing to try new things and want to make this world a better, healthier place. They want to become more confident leaders and guide their teams in collaborative activities. 


Being seen as a capable leader of meetings gave me more opportunities in my career and life.  You can be seen as a leader, too! 

To learn more:
-- Scroll down to read my professional and personal story

-- Sign up for emails
-- Check out my blog 
-- Connect with me on Linked In
Learn how I approach changing meetings for good

As owner and principal of Bickford Collaboration, here's what I offer:

  • Acceptance of you, of your group and of things as they are

  • Knowledge of how to make meetings more effective and engaging

  • Skill at designing and running meetings, both online and in person

  • Experience in public health, the environment, government, non-profits, business, facilitation, collaboration and education

Who I am as a professional

Barb Bickford sitting in a cubicle in 1998

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

A woman standing in front of a truck and infectious waste containers
Barb Bickford leading a discussion in a conference room

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 learned how to transform my meetings.
I now focus
 on guiding people to
transform their resuls and make a greater impact 
by transforming their meetings and themselves

A group of people sitting around a table discussing things

Who I am as a person

Barb carrying a canoe upstream

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 meet and supporting leaders to do the same --

-- 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. 

Barb paddling a canoe
A man and a woman, smiling broadly, outside with trees in the background

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.  

And I do what I can to improve the environment as a business, as well.

Read my Green Business scorecard here

Barb Bickford holding up a Green Business Award certificate

What others say...

Head shot of Charlotte Smith

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) 


Head shot of Angela Fleming

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 

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