Meeting Facilitation Approach
The process begins with an initial consultation. We start with a lot of questions to make sure that we really understand what you want to achieve at this meeting. Many clients find that these questions help them clarify the meeting’s purpose. We believe it is also important to understand what you don’t want. Are their facilitation techniques that you don’t like? Are there things that past meeting facilitators have done that didn’t work for you? Only after we are clear about “what” do we start to talk about “how”. We can now float a series of “trial balloons” describing different facilitation approaches. As we do we solicit your feedback as to which approaches will work best for your organization.
In the second step, we prepare a detailed facilitation proposal. The proposal starts with a description of what you want to accomplish. It then describes each step of the process and all of the deliverables. The proposal includes a description of any recommended pre-work. It also describes what will be included in the meeting report, and how this will be captured. Finally, we quote our fees and the maximum number of days billable.
Once the facilitation proposal is accepted we then complete our pre-work. This includes reviewing background documents and websites. It often includes face to face meetings or telephone interviews. As part of our pre-work, we will also create, and post an online survey that is part of your participant pre-work. We finish our pre-work when we analyze and summarize these pre-session survey results.
When we facilitate your meeting we will work closely with you to adapt as events unfold. We will follow the agenda and keep the group focused, on time and on task. If lists of ideas get too long we priority rank them. If something important comes up that is not on the agenda we capture it and put it in the parking lot. On the other hand, it has been said that; “no plan ever survived first contact with the enemy.” What this means is that to win you have to adapt. We are going to help you win.
We abandoned flip charts for note taking long ago. We now record meeting notes with a laptop computer hooked up to a data projector. These notes will be the basis of the post-session meeting report. The meeting report is an important document. It captures what we did, what we agreed to, and what we will do next. In the case of a strategic planning session, it captures the essence of your plan.
Finally, we will follow up with you after the meeting report has been published.
Picking the right meeting facilitator
From Our Clients
“Over the past five or six years we have worked with Bruce more than a dozen times as a focus group moderator for our pharmaceutical and medical device clients. The clients are always impressed with how quickly Bruce picks up challenging concepts and how easily he communicates them. The high-quality feedback and insight he draws from the focus group participants is what we are all looking for. Bruce’s track record in exceeding client objectives makes me extremely comfortable recommending him to any of our clients regardless of therapeutic area.”
“We wanted to find somebody unbiased, with no agenda, who could lead the retreat and pull in all points of view. Bruce did this and more. He brought some clever ways to make sure that we fully explored our ideas and he forced the discipline of setting priorities and of committing to an action plan. We have now used him three years in a row since everyone sees the value he adds and trusts his process.”
Mary Todd Peterson