Helping people to think differently

Facilitation

Sometimes a group of people needs an outside person to help them think together. Someone who is completely neutral about the content of the matter in hand, but skilled in supporting groups to work well. This might involve creating a structured process to help a group explore options, make decisions or create strategies. Or it might involve helping a group to understand and manage their internal relationships. Usually a bit of both! We can be involved with a client for a single meeting, or for several interventions over time – sometimes years.

Example 1

We worked with the top team of a multinational IT for Finance organisation to help them develop their strategic thinking.

The new Chief Executive had realised that the current strategy and direction would not deliver the growth or the radical shake-up that he felt were needed. Some of the team welcomed his new approach, some were less positive.

Our work consisted of:

  • some pure facilitation, to get people talking openly and to have structured and blame free discussions around the needs of the organisation
  • some small group work and even solo work to develop ideas and turn those into effective strategies
  • some sharing across groups to have peer questioning and risk assessment
  • some scenario work to test the strategies against possible futures

Example 2

We facilitated an Away Day for the staff and Board of a small charity who needed to develop a new three year plan for their key funders.

Once there, it quickly became clear that, whilst the presenting issue was the need for a plan, the real issue in the organisation was how engaged the Board members were – or weren’t – with the day to day needs of the charity. Whilst keeping to our brief, we were able to make sure the day included frank discussions about what the staff and Board expected of each other. This enabled us to help them resolve, there and then, a number of hitherto unspoken issues, and to develop a Board member training plan.