Make Light Work in Groups

10 Tools to Transform Meetings, Companies and Communities

This book introduces ten tools to revolutionize how we work together – in teams, organizations, companies, and communities.

If groups are how you get (or don’t get) things done, you will find an abundance of insight, inspiration and practical suggestions here. The tools in this book will help you increase trust, unleash collective wisdom, and nurture the joyous ease of “many hands making light work”.

Each of the ten tools brings a unique perspective. Together they are a comprehensive kit, allowing you to create better outcomes in all types of group situations.

Make Light Work in Groups is a handy pocket guide for leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, activists, consultants, parents – and anyone else who wants the sum that is greater than the parts.

The 10 Tools

  • Appreciative Inquiry (Sample chapter)
  • Trust Theory
  • Chaordic Design
  • Generative Dialogue
  • Adaptive Cycle
  • Enterprise Facilitation
  • Theory U
  • Process Oriented Psychology
  • Integral Theory
  • Conscious Co-Creation

Please help spread the word. Here’s a link to a flyer about the book.


“Open any page of this book and you will find practical ideas and strategies for working with groups—as a facilitator, participant or manager. Kate’s warm insight and clear examples help to illustrate complex theories and explore creative possibilities for change. We will definitely use and share these tools!”
Health Nexus, Toronto, Canada

“I wish I had this book 27 years ago, when I first began my work as a leader of organizational transformation. Kate Sutherland has taken the leading theories of organizational development and done us the invaluable service of crystallizing, synthesizing, and connecting the very best models from the field. Most importantly she makes them accessible and practical.”
Bruce Sanguin, The Advance of Love

“As the Academic Coordinator of 18 Interdisciplinary Courses that are upper level undergraduate credit courses in the Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University, I have been frequently aware of the need for a book such as Kate Sutherland’s Make Light Work in Groups. Many of these courses involve experiential learning related to group work. The resources available are often weak in relation to theory and not at the level needed for credit courses. Other resources may be strong on theory but have little experiential application. This book is remarkable in its ability to explore complex theories and make them come alive with experiential work. I will be recommending it as a resource for many of my instructors.”
June Pollard, Professor Emeritus, Ryerson University

“At this time on our planet, learning to work together with open hearts and open minds is crucial to finding a just and sustainable path into the future. Kate has given us a wonderful guide for our journey forward together. Make Light Work in Groups is a must-read for anyone working towards change in their communities, organizations or families.”
Lena K. Soots, Lead Trainer, Transition Canada; Coordinator, CityStudio Vancouver

“Kate gives us a treasure map to our collective health and happiness. I am inspired to deepen and sharpen my work in groups and recommend this to everyone who wishes to work on behalf of the wellbeing of others.”
John Stoddart, Certified Integral Coach™

“I love Make Light Work in Groups for people who are active, generative participants and leaders of groups. Understanding group management theories as Kate lays out so simply and accessibly, is a huge benefit to anyone who relies on a group to get something done – whether it is a corporate team, a care circle that forms to take care of a sick friend, or a group of citizens who want to make their community stronger. I particularly love Kate’s personalized, narrative voice that makes it seem like she wrote the book just for me. The book is information-packed, yet an easy read at the same time. I will definitely integrate many of the models and theories Kate explains so eloquently into the groups I work with.”
Alissa Hauser, Co-Founder, The Engage Network

“Sutherland has assembled a tasting menu for anyone who has an appetite for sweet human interaction. Whether you are facilitating an interaction with yourself or with a group of a hundred or more, this is an invaluable book. Sutherland presents tools that are sophisticated and yet approachable. Using them moves the practice of facilitation from mechanical to magical!”
Anne Kaye, Management Consultant and Certified Professional Facilitator

“My work has to do with transforming transportation into something that helps us live more equitably and more sustainably on the planet. This gets a lot more complicated as the world urbanizes, demographics shift, climate change makes its presence known, the economy restructures, and a responsive flurry of new technologies and services and systems arrive on the scene faster than we can figure out how they all fit together and what might be their effects. Suddenly transportation is as much about working together, connecting the dots, collaborating on multi-faceted solutions across disciplines and sectors as it is about engineering and infrastructure. I think Kate’s book should be required reading at the very least for all transportation professionals if not for anyone who’s responsible making our cities and communities better.”
Susan Zielinski, Managing Director, SMART (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation), University of Michigan

“Group work can be very demanding. The particular gift of “Make Light Work in Groups” is one of companionship and encouragement. If you want to be refreshed, read this book. It will open you, remind you, and guide you to center in wellness and perform with greater mastery.”
Sylvia Holland, Dialogue Associate, SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

About the Author

Kate Sutherland is a community and organizational development consultant who specializes in custom design and facilitation of game-changing processes for individuals, organizations, and communities. Her passion is helping people and groups come into greater alignment with their core purpose, and for creating dynamic, high trust environments that support groups to be generative, effective and fun.

Kate’s particular interest is in convening “conversations that need to happen” – bridging mindsets, stakeholders, silos, and sectors to support innovation and greater positive impact. Knowing the potential in groups for collective intelligence, co-creation and flow, she sees herself as part of a movement working to unfold the collective dimensions of human potential.

As a consultant, Kate works with issues as diverse as environment, food policy, social co-ops, early childhood development, and storytelling as a way of reporting outcomes. She brings a wealth of experience to designing/facilitating consultations, community engagements, multi-stakeholder processes, conferences, forums, annual meetings, workshops and retreats. Over the past 25 years, she has facilitated dozens of projects and hundreds of group and community processes.