Investing time in focused strategic planning will pay significant dividends for your company, shareholders and stakeholders.
However, many companies fail to achieve this for a variety of reasons including being too busily engrossed in operational activities and challenges or being unsure how to go about it.
We understand that for many companies, having the time to think about and compile a strategic plan is a luxury currently beyond their reach.
Even if time is available and you succeed in getting your management team into a room together for a half-day or full day’s strategic thinking, you find:
- you may know what you want from your strategic planning discussion, and you want to open it up to the team in the most effective way possible, but you don’t know how;
- you don’t know the right questions to ask to get to the information you need to structure the session;
- you want to get everyone on the same page but don’t know how to go about it;
- the session quickly turns into a management-type meeting with discussion at an operational level about day to day issues;
- the stronger personalities quickly take control of and dominate the discussion to the exclusion of more effective but less vociferous members;
- you and your team may be lacking the expertise or experience to effectively manage a large conversation with many sub conversations, considerations and themes;
This is a very common scenario for lots of companies and can very often deter CEOs from engaging their teams in strategic planning for fear of it being perceived as a waste of time.
The benefits of engaging us as your strategic planning facilitator are:
We’ll ensure that everyone can participate
If you’re the leader of a team, you can’t lead your team and facilitate an important conversation at the same time. People won’t speak freely, and you won’t get the information you desire from the meeting. If you’re busy facilitating the meeting, you can’t listen to what others are saying and be fully present in the conversation. Having a facilitator will allow better conversations and better participation from everyone.
We can ask the right questions to get to the heart of the issues
Having a facilitator creates a safe space for people to ask questions that get to the root of issues without having their concerns come out as personal attacks. This way the important topics get covered to a level of satisfaction for the whole group.
We’re not constrained by the politics and taboos in the organisation and have no power dynamics to avoid. Our job is to get all the information on the table that’s relevant to the future of the organisation, and we can do that by asking the relevant questions, and probe more deeply if needed.
We’re neutral to the decisions
Our main focus is creating a powerful discussion about the present and future of the organisation, what’s best for the organisation, and to bring those issues to completion. By approaching the discussions in an objective manner, we don’t have to worry about getting our way, or having a decision go one way or another.
It makes a statement about the organisation intent
By bringing a facilitator into your organisation, it shows the rest of the participants as well as your employees that you’re investing in the future and well-being of your organisation. You’re committed to having everyone in the organisation contribute to the future, and the first step is bringing in someone to facilitate that process.
We’ll set the tone and control the time and conversation
One of the roles of the facilitator is to ensure people stay on task and speak about relevant topics. If you stray from current discussion or waste valuable time, the facilitator will interject and get the conversation back on track. This is slightly harder to do when there are power dynamics at play and management is leading the session.
We’ll get the balance of participation right
Our job as facilitator is to manage people and make sure communication lines are open for everyone. Our job is also to ensure all participants participate! We’re always aware of who’s contributing, who’s just talking, and who’s not saying anything. While not everyone contributes equally, all insights are valued so it’s important that everyone gets time and space to make their contribution.
You can get more done by using someone external to make the first move
As strategic planning facilitators, we won’t be the ones leading the change in your organisation on a day to day basis. We do, however, set your team up to realise:
- What they need to do to create that change;
- Why that change needs to happen now;
- How each employee contributes to the success of your organisation;
- The next steps and easy wins to get the ball rolling;
- And so much more.
Using a professional facilitator who understands business strategy and people dynamics will help bring your organisation to a new level in teamwork and effectiveness.
Contact us now about our facilitating your strategic planning.