At that time, there were fewer than 200 CPFs in the entire world (now there are about 700).
As I began down the path to gather the training I'd need, I was expecting my now 6 year-old daughter and pregnancy complications hindered my ability to travel for the training and CPF assessment. So I set aside the goal for when I was more able, and less busy.
Ever notice how "less busy" never arrives?
This year, I became bound and determined to do it. I just returned from beautiful Ottawa where, on Monday, I passed my CPF assessment and earned the designation I've worked toward (slowly) for as long as I've raised my little girl.
You'd think after 7 years, I'd feel it's the end of that journey.
Instead, it is oddly fitting that I returned from Ottawa last night and, this morning, I put my daughter on a school bus to eagerly embark on her first day of first grade at a new school.
The CPF credential isn't the "end" I thought it might be. It is very much like topping a hill and seeing a lot more road ahead...a beginning of a new phase of evolving my facilitation style, methods, and purpose.
The entire assessment process (May-Aug) was a deep learning experience and I'd like to share more about that in some future posts. In the meantime, here are a couple stories from others who've gone through the CPF process in Australia (scroll down a bit to "Stories from those who've undertaken the CPF journey").
Additionally, I strongly recommend receiving some formal training in basic facilitation skills for any marketing professional. Since one person (or department) cannot actually accomplish great marketing in isolation from all other aspects of a company's operations, group facilitation is essential for getting everyone in sync to accomplish and sustain dramatic results.
More and more companies have internal facilitators who are trained to do this--why not be the first one in your firm to have this skill set so you can advance the success of marketing (and lots of other things) in your firm?
Photo courtesy of flickr