30 Years! PDF Print E-mail

February 2015 - The FoCuSeD™ Facilitator eNewsletter


“Leading Innovation ‘n Collaboration through Facilitation since 1985”


30 Years! | Gary Rush Facilitation

On February 25, 1985, Millie and I formed MG Rush Systems, Inc. in Newton, NJ.  In 2004, we took a detour to open a restaurant in Old San Juan, PR.  In 2005, we returned, renaming our company MGR Consulting, Inc.

It has been an exciting 30+ years. We have touched thousands through our consulting, Facilitator training, and facilitating workshops.


In 1985, we began by offering consulting support for development centers: IT productivity, productivity measurements, interactive design techniques, project estimating, and development center strategies. Within 6 months, we introduced FAST, our structured facilitation technique and in 1990, we introduced Forum, a meeting management class. Since then, we have focused our business on Facilitator Training, Facilitation Services and Collaborative Leadership – the leadership model of the future.  Today, our sons, Al and Sean, have also joined MGR Consulting, Inc.


Product Changes


In 1985, with FAST, we focused primarily on process – that is what JAD promoted. As time passed, we began adding people skills and enhanced the structure – preparation, interviewing, and process development. Our focus moved from primarily IT type workshops and processes to a broader mix that includes strategic planning, product ideation, problem solving, and team building. In 2007, we revolutionized our FAST facilitation technique to create FoCuSeD™1st holistic facilitation technique - through the seamless integration of process and group dynamics, thus broadening our impact and enabling facilitation for any activity in business and in life.


FoCuSeD™ is the most complete and comprehensive structured facilitation technique in the market incorporating my 30+ years of experience. Our FoCuSeD™ Facilitator training devotes 50% of class time to people skills (group dynamics) and 50% to process skills (workshop process) with students practicing over 40% of the class time and receive comprehensive assessments along with recorded sessions facilitated by the student.


MGR Consulting, Inc. Offerings


In 1985, in addition to facilitating workshops, we offered a 5-day Facilitator training class, FAST. In 1990, in addition to FAST, we offered a 3-day meeting management class, Forum. Today, we have replaced both FAST and Forum with FoCuSeD™, providing a consistent message, that is built upon the fundamental principles of facilitation, from our 5-day FoCuSeD™ Facilitator Academy, our 4-day FoCuSeD™ Business Facilitator, our 3-day FoCuSeD™ On…, our 1-day FoCuSeD™ Foundational Group Facilitation Skills, and our 4-day FoCuSeD™ Leader – Facilitator Lessons for Collaborative Leadersthe ultimate in collaborative Leadership. This enables us to provide training for any organization enabling a FoCuSeD™ Organization –  one that, through facilitation, engages its workforce in effective communication and decision-making - collaboration at all levels. From our FoCuSeD™ Facilitator classes, we pulled out specialized classes covering Strategic Planning, Data Modeling, etc. Quite a complete portfolio of classes for a company of four!




Today, we provide our books via Portable Document Facility (PDF) and, our FoCuSeD™ Facilitation on-line classes via video-based learning - keeping up with technology has become the responsibility of our new Chief Technology Officer, Sean Rush.




One great aspect of working for yourself is the ability to live wherever you want. We have taken that to heart. Since 1985, we have lived in four “states” (New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), six cities (Newton, Bloomfield Hills, Barrington, Old San Juan, Glencoe, and Chicago), and eleven homes. We just purchased our latest home, in a fifth state (Indiana), seventh city (Richmond), and our twelfth home.


Working with our sons, both at Mirácles Restaurant in Puerto Rico and with MGR Consulting, Inc., also has been an experience. Watching them grow and now work with us is very rewarding.


The Industry


I’ve written a number of enewsletters about the history and future of facilitation, Facilitators, and Collaborative Leadership. I have watched the profession evolve over the past 30+ years moving from a small, specialized profession, having to explain what we did, to organizations making facilitation skills as core competencies in many roles . Today, selling facilitation is no longer just about increasing productivity; it’s also about increasing engagement and increasing the bottom line. Showing that companies have saved and/or earned millions of dollars because of facilitated workshops has made facilitated workshops an increasing trend.




Being a pioneer in the Facilitation profession has been rewarding. We have trained many of our competitors and many have trained other competitors, like a domino effect of expanding the industry. We have influenced the industry through our FoCuSeD™ training. We also have influenced the industry through our involvement in the International Association of Facilitators (IAF). The IAF was formed in 1994 and we have been active in it since its first conference in 1995. I worked on committees to update the Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) program, implement the Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA), and develop the program for the 2012 Orlando convention. I was the Incoming Chair for a year, Chair for three years, and I founded the IAF Chicago Chapter and was President for four years. Today, I am an IAF CPF assessor. The IAF keeps me busy, enables me to influence direction, and develop great friendships with colleagues around the world.


The IAF has been instrumental in promoting the profession of Facilitation through its conferences and, especially, through the IAF CPF program that assesses and certifies those Facilitators that have demonstrated each of the IAF Core Facilitator Competencies. Additionally, the IAF’s Facilitation Impact Awards has highlighted the fact that using facilitation in organizations adds considerable value to the bottom line.


Our Future


We continue to support the IAF Core Facilitator Competencies and the IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF) program and what students need to learn to achieve them, enabling them to pursue their IAF CPF designation. We also support the new IAF Facilitation Training Program Endorsement (FTPE) that identifies facilitation-training programs that are consistent with the IAF Core Facilitator Competencies.


We continue to research subjects around process and group dynamics to refine and enhance our FoCuSeD™ Facilitator training and practice. Clarifying thought processes, articulating “how to” design processes, manage conflict, build teams, develop critical thinking skills, etc., to continuously improve our Facilitation and Collaborative Leadership abilities. This is one industry that enables me to continue to grow and learn so we can continue to provide the highest quality in training, content, materials, and expertise. logo