Executives often wonder if they can both orchestrate and participate in a workshop. As senior executives and facilitators, our experience tells us that this is difficult to achieve. Here is our top ten list of reasons to use an external facilitator.
The right preparation. Good preparation is one of the keys to successful workshops, and we save you time by doing most of the preparation for you. It takes at least a full day to prepare for a single-day workshop, and busy executives often do not have the capacity to commit this sort of time.
Effective agendas. Expert facilitators have deep experience constructing agendas which ensure that sessions flow, that each session builds on the last, and that the overall structure will result in you achieving your objectives.
Strategy expertise. Our facilitators are experts in strategy and planning disciplines. We will bring to your workshops new thinking and best-practice strategy frameworks to help guide conversations.
Independence. An external workshop facilitator brings an independent perspective which allows them to better resolve alternative viewpoints among workshop members and keep meetings on track.
Attention to detail. We pay attention to the small details that often get overlooked. We can coordinate materials, projector, whiteboard, and discussion templates as well as bringing along props to create more engaging and effective group sessions.
Full engagement. Most people find it almost impossible to guide a discussion, record key points and make a meaningful contribution. Hiring an external facilitator for meetings and workshops means you can be fully engaged in discussions rather than focused on the process and documenting discussions.
Managing personalities. Managing meeting dynamics can be difficult, especially when you know the people in the room. Keeping a meeting on track and managing conflict is core to producing useful outcomes, and so our facilitators are trained to ensure that everyone has a say, and no single view-point dominates the discussion.
Action-orientation. We ensure you get value from your meetings and workshops by providing you with actionable documentation of workshop outcomes. This includes a summary of the discussion and outcomes of each session and the agreed next steps, so that no decisions get lost and you can implement your plans immediately.
Risk reduction. External facilitation reduces the risk that the investment of your staff’s time will be wasted. Workshops have an opportunity cost; we help reduce the risk. Spending a day out of the office for senior team members is costly. We ensure you will get the best out of your team and ensure we harness the skills and expertise in the room.
Unlocking additional value. A well run, well facilitated workshop will have side-benefits far greater than meeting and exceeding workshop outcomes. We call these the serendipities of a workshop. ’…that was the best conversation I’ve seen this board have in nine years in my role.’ Last week a new director of a social enterprise board said: ‘that was the best induction I could have had.’