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Strategic Planning and Management Insights

Do You Need a Strategic Planning Facilitator?

[fa icon="calendar"] August 02 / by Anthony Taylor

Are you a VP, CEO, or leader planning a strategy session for your organization? If you are, there are a lot of reasons why you may need to use a Strategic Planning Facilitator for your next strategy meeting. 

Here are some of them:

1. Facilitators allow you to participate and contribute to the session

Facilitators allow you to participate instead of lead. If you want to lead the session yourself, you cannot do both. It's very difficult and almost impossible to fully participate if you are also the one facilitating the session.

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2. Facilitators have a specialized process

This is exactly what facilitators do: facilitate strategy meetings! They have a process to maximize the time and effort, as well as to ask the right questions that produce the best results. You could do it yourself if you want to, but do you really want to take risks when you're betting on your organization's future?

3. Facilitators ask the right questions to get to the heart of the issues

Facilitators are neutral and are able to ask the tough questions for you without having any expectations or common misconceptions of what it means. Sometimes, you might even think they are asking dumb questions, but these questions get to the heart of what matters most. Since they come from the outside, they can ask the right questions, at the right time, and in the right way to get the golden nuggets that are crucial for the success of your organization.

4. Facilitators are neutral to the decisions

You need somebody who can lead you through the process who is equally neutral, someone who can help you get to the right place. No matter what you do, your choices do not impact the facilitators. This means that they can approach a session with no bias, because at the end of the day, you and your team have to live with the decisions made. 

5. Facilitators set the tone

Facilitators set the tone for your meeting to show that you're serious and committed to the strategy and strategy development. If you have strategic planning offsite and you bring somebody from the outside to do it, it shows that you have made a commitment; not just a financial commitment, but an emotional commitment to make sure that this strategy session provides the highest amount of value for your company. 

6. Facilitators control the time and the tempo of the conversation

It is not easy to manage the facilitation and the session while also getting into the conversations. Facilitators are able to put pauses in strategic moments and control the agenda so that it produces the best outcome possible for your team.

7. Facilitators are used to dealing with people

Facilitators manage big personalities, small personalities, quiet personalities, loud personalities; that's a big part of what they do, and they are very good at it. They make sure that the conversation is balanced throughout the room. They make sure that everybody gets to contribute and that you have the best product possible to move forward in your strategy. 

8. Facilitators allow you to get more done

It's not just about getting the contributions or about creating the structure and the place for it. Facilitators act as catalysts that kick you in the butt to move things forward and get those change initiatives happening. They help you move your organization forward faster, instead of living with some decisions or some legacy conversations that can't seem to get a wave.

 

Topics: facilitation

Anthony Taylor

Written by Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor is thought leader on strategy and leadership. He's a published author on the subject of entrepreneurship and strategy, Anthony can be found doing keynotes in both French and English. You can connect with him on Twitter @anthonyctaylor and have him work with your team on your strategy and organizational development.

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