A man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
Company leaders often choose to facilitate their own strategic or annual goal planning workshops in an effort to save money or maintain control of the process. Experience has shown me that while well-intentioned, this is nearly impossible to achieve. Engaging an external facilitator requires an initial financial investment, but your business will reap dividends long after the workshop concludes.
Top 5 Reasons to Engage an External Facilitator
- Expertise. There is no substitute for experience. Facilitators provide proven agendas, expert material & logistics preparation, and know best how to facilitate effective strategic discussions. They know how to stay productive, maintain focus, and manage all team members’ participation and personalities.
- Perspective. An outsider brings an objective independence to group meetings, and often takes on the voice of the customer, vendor, competitor or employee. They can sense artificial harmony among the group and can challenge them to say what needs to be said.
- Engagement. Having someone lead the discussion, engage all parties, capture ideas and action items allows the team to be fully engaged. When a participant is distracted with managing pieces of the meeting facilitation, their participation suffers.
- Accountability. Outside facilitation brings accountability to a leadership team’s discipline of strategic workshops. Building on the past, using proven tools to track and manage progress, while keeping positive pressure on results ensures the time invested in workshops leads to desired outcomes.
- Hidden Value. A well run facilitated workshop will have lasting benefits beyond meeting or exceeding the goals of the workshop. Facilitators provide the tools, structure, discipline and an added layer of encouragement that equips a team for achievement and success.
A great strategy workshop unifies a team and creates positive momentum toward achieving the goal.
If you are considering hiring an external facilitator, drop us an email at email@example.com. Sheryl is well-equipped to lead your upcoming strategic planning or strategy sessions.