Homage to Michael Doyle

The facilitation community, and particularly the graphic facilitation community, is feeling the loss of one of our great leaders, mentors and icons … Micheal Doyle.  Mr. Doyle died January 29th in San Francisco. 

how to make meetings workMichael was foundational in putting facilitation on the map, in terms of a separate and valued professional role.  And was instrumental in bringing graphics, or ‘wall memory’ into the facilitation experience.  He co-wrote one of the bibles of the faciliation field, How to Make Meetings Work and co-founded one of the premier faciliation training and consulting firms: Interaction Associates (for more on Michael’s role, see article on The History of the Graphic Facilitation / Recording Fields). He was a very special person to many of my colleagues and friends, particularly my ol’ boss, David Sibbet of The Grove Consultants.  David has set up a beautiful blog for Remembering Michael, for those who knew, loved, and admired this very original man and dynamic force. 

I had the honour of working with Michael once and several times with his very cool wife Juli.  As an up and coming graphic recorder it was a real thrill … to witness this legend in action and to be his graphic sidekick for a day.  It was a real ride, following him on the fly, trying to keep up with zigs and zags and where he was going with the group.  They got angry, they cried, they hugged and there was big relief and breakthrough decisions when all was done.  A real master. 

Thank you Michael for the huge contribution you have made.  Your footprints and skills have enabled multiple generations of folks to contribute to helping groups and individuals shift.  You have paved the way, making it easier for others behind you. And in clients recognizing the value of what we do, even when we are at our most invisible.  I am very grateful for the benefits I have received via your life’s work and passions. 


2 comments on “Homage to Michael Doyle

  1. Lisa Nelson on

    Hi Christina, I didn’t know Michael Doyle but I stumbled on a used book called “How to make meetings work”. As I was thumbing through it I said to myself, this guy is talking about “graphic recording”. I feel like I found a real gem. Thanks for giving me the backstory on his life and contribution to the field!

  2. Christina Merkley on

    So welcome Lisa. Michael was a fascinating man who impacted many of us in the GR/GF field. Glad I could fill in a bit of the back story for you! You did find a gem 🙂

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