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"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing."

    Robert Orben


Do I Need A Facilitator

Management of organizations is not easy in an era characterized by the speed of change and the unpredictability of the social, political, and economic environment. Decision-makers face enormous challenges as they attempt to steer a productive course through hazards Ulysses never dreamed of! Often, logic is not the only tool required to successfully move an organization forward. A professional facilitator can help a team or organization face the future creatively and productively. Some typical instances where a facilitator can help you be successful:

Facilitating Growth

  • If you are scheduling a strategic planning "weekend" to decide where your company, organization or department is going over the next five years
  • If your organization is at a critical stages in its development and needs to make the leap to the next level of development

More Effective Meetings

  • If you want effective meetings and do not have the time or the talent to make it happen
  • If you're leaving meetings frustrated
  • When you need occasional activities during the meeting to stimulate new thinking
  • When you need the full brainpower of your team focused on the task, not worrying about taking notes, managing participants, watching the time, etc.

Fostering Creative Thinking

  • If you want some innovative thinking on a recurring task
  • If you find yourself saying, "I wish we were more creative"
  • If you have a problem to solve, a team assigned, but no idea how to go about it
  • If you want to expand your services and would like to consider all possibilities before narrowing the list down
  • If you have a beginning idea on how to approach a task and want to get some feedback and focused building before proceeding

Breaking Deadlock

  • If critical meetings go on and on without a decision
  • If the board or staff have been fiddling around forever on some issue and you want the process brought to a head
  • If you're about to resign yourself to the thought that some problems have no solutions

Implementing Ideas

  • When the team or organization needs to act and stop talking about acting
  • When you have lots of ideas but can't get them to solution stage
  • If you are designing or redesigning work procedures or processes and want to get finished quickly and well

Focusing and Channeling Group Energy

  • When you want to access the expertise and talent of your staff and focus it
  • If you need to reach consensus on a major issue and also want to participate in the decision
  • If group commitment is essential
  • If you have internal facilitators who are good at meetings but have little experience in creativity techniques or group problem-solving approaches
  • If your staff and trustees have done a considerable amount of research and discussion beforehand, but the events leading up to decision-making need to be orchestrated by a knowledgeable, but objective, party with the skills to keep communication going around the table, maintain the participants' focus and bring you to some conclusions

Difficult Group Dynamics

  • When internal politics are strong
  • If you have many agendas in the room that get in the way of making decisions or getting buy-in to them
  • If your usual way to run meetings is to assign a staff member to manage it but he or she then is not able to participate fully - or, on the contrary, dominates the meeting so the results are less than they might be

The “Outsiders” Perspective

  • When you can't afford to waste valuable time of your staff, board, or outside experts you have brought in to work on a task
  • When you wish you could get some totally new solution to a problem or could approach a challenge in a fresh and innovative way
  • If bringing in someone "from the outside" will lend importance to the tasks at hand
  • If you want to generate ideas on a task that could benefit from fresh thinking

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