Denny Braud
On behalf of the City of Eugene, I want to thank you [Allison] for leading our group of regional partners through the “Big Look” process.  At a critical point where there was uncertainty regarding our regional economic development organization’s future, you stepped in and shepherded us through a comprehensive process that considered strategic approaches garnered from your vast experience, and artful alignment of these strategies with our own unique regional prosperity goals. The efforts you made to connect with so many public and private stakeholders went beyond expectations. I also want to

thank you for pushing hard on the partners to include the competitive analysis
within your scope of work.   I’m confident that this analysis, along with the strategic plan that you helped formulate, will be instrumental in reshaping and rejuvenating our regional economic development organization.  

Dan Tobergte, CEcD

"Allison provided a much-needed guiding hand as Northern Kentucky Tri-ED ventured into a new strategic plan process. She pushed us to explore and consider new  approaches towards established efforts in our community, such as NKY's workforce development delivery system." 

Northern Kentucky Tri-EDC

TadZo was contracted to help staff update their three-county economic development strategy.  An important element of the project was engagement of the board of directors. Five focus groups, organized by economic development program (i.e. entrepreneurship, marketing, business retention and expansion, property development, funding, etc.) were facilitated to identify key issues and opportunities. The findings from these focus groups were integrated into a board planning retreat with the objective of prioritizing initiatives for the regional strategy.  Unique facilitation methods for this retreat included live polling on competitive best practices; and small groups prompted with prioritization screening questions to help focus discussion for productive outcomes.

Formal Training

Allison Larsen, TadZo Principal, has been formally trained as a facilitator.

  • Liberating Structures - Seattle
  • The Principles of Graphic Facilitation, The Grove - San Francisco
  • The Art of Facilitation, University of California Davis
Ada, Oklahoma

Allison Larsen of TadZo facilitated four large focus groups as part of a larger strategy and branding project for Ada. A broad spectrum of community volunteers – business leaders, students and residents – were actively engaged key message development.  The objective of these focus groups was to identifying core values and differentiators that could be distilled into succinct and compelling key messages to drive a community-wide brand. Allison had everyone off their feet and working actively in small groups.  Several props were utilized to help participants generate creative, yet provable messages about their community.  Not only did the process give every participant a voice, but also built strong consensus for key messages and the brand. 

sample projects & TEstimonials

Greater Eugene-Springfield, Oregon

Using “informed facilitation”, where the facilitator is an expert on the topic of the meetings, Allison Larsen of TadZo assisted regional stakeholders in facilitating plans for a new regional organization structure and strategic plan.  Instead of the consultant going off to write the plan and come back to present to community, the regional economic development partners and elected officials are designing their new regional model and strategy with Allison’s help through a series of facilitated work sessions.  Allison’s skill for encouraging all to actively participate builds ownership of the plan outcome.  Her extensive experience in economic development and strategic planning provides examples and best practices from across North America enhances participants understand for what is possible.  This approach offered by Allison’s skill set and experience adds value to a community for new solutions that could fit as a customized solution for their community.

Are you seeking ideas for more exciting and engaging meetings?


The visual displays captured during the meeting become "storyboards". These meeting snapshots document everything from the group's discussions and can be used in reports, presentations or other mediums.

helping you make

meetings more effective

TadZo works extensively to understand the situation before the event:

  • What are your expectations?
  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • What challenges are holding you back?
  • Who will be attending?
  • ​What are the expectations of participants?

This understanding drives customization of:

  • Agenda design
  • Meeting flow and process
  • Participant involvement
  • Graphic tools & templates
  • Coaching

Graphic facilitation marries skilled facilitation with the benefits of graphic recording: big-picture, real-time, visual displays creating a shared picture where groups literally see what they are saying, uncover previously unseen patterns of behavior, align to agreed-upon objectives and initiate action.

Although you may think it's all about drawing, it's really about organizing information and asking thought-provoking questions in a manner that makes your meetings highly-productive.

TadZo can Help with...

  • Board retreats
  • Strategic planning
  • Brainstorming
  • ​Innovation development
  • Team building
  • Focus groups
  • Stakeholder engagement sessions
  • Large public meetings

Key benefits

Engagement & Commitment

People's pattern-seeking brains are fascinated by unfolding drama of live recording. Most people identify with their own words and symbols. When people get visual feedback that they are heard, they feel acknowledged and contribute more fully. They feel respected. 

Big-picture Thinking

Graphic displays support seeing relationships and big patterns. It's a tool for systems thinking and making sense out of complex data. Visualization supports both seeing themes and seeing gaps. Displays allow groups to work both linearly and non-linearly - activating both left and right sides of the brain. Panoramas support an appreciation of context and complexity while graphic metaphors explicitly build shared meaning.

Group Memory

Research shows that people retain around 65% of what they see and only 15% of what they hear, but 80% combined. A common picture enhances group alignment. Posted charts create an accessible record for review, revision and retention.

Engagement & Facilitation

What is GraPHic Facilitation?

What are liberating structures?

Liberating Structures, developed by Keith McCandless and Henri Lipmanowicz, transform how people interact and work together in order to achieve better results. These tools are designed to include and engage everyone to speak, listen, participate and contribute to the group. No need for mind-numbing activities when these tools can be utilized to take your group to higher levels of success and teamwork.