An introduction to using a facilitator

management consulting

Facilitators design, organize and facilitate conferences, awaydays, strategy and budget planning meetings to achieve your agreed outcome.

Are you looking for an experienced facilitator to design and run an away day, corporate retreat, strategy or budget planning meeting for groups?

Or is it a conference to organize or a speaker you need?

Brefi Group organises and facilitates effective groups meetings, away days, training workshops and conferences internationally. We have worked in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, often in exciting locations.

We ensure that each event is structured to achieve a previously agreed outcome, but is flexible and responsive enough to deal with whatever arises, whether it be a business issue or inter-personal. We produce lots of flip chart sheets!

Discover 10 questions to ask before you choose a facilitator.

Facilitation by an independent facilitator, briefed by the team leader, ensures that time is well spent and all individuals are able to participate fully.

As well as managing the process, a professional facilitator can also introduce new processes and elements of training, activities to improve communication and management games, as well as specialist activities such as scenario planning.

How to Choose a Facilitator?

Where facilitators can help you

Meetings

When a facilitator runs a meeting he is acting more as a chairman or master of ceremonies. You can expect your facilitator to discuss and agree the programme with you, meet and introduce each of the speakers, host any questions or interactive sessions and keep events to time. Your facilitator will also collect information and feedback on flip charts when appropriate.

Having a facilitator to run your meeting will give you peace of mind and enable you to participate.

Download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Conferences and events

When you have a larger event you can expect your facilitator to provide a comprehensive service. This could include advising on venue, liaising with conference staff and suppliers, and possibly providing speakers and organising activities.

Find out more about conferences or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Away days

Team away days and training days are a popular and powerful means of addressing current issues, developing strategy and improving the performance of individuals and teams. A different environment; no interruptions; a skilled facilitator.

Whether your objective is to get to know each other better, to build a team that works together better, to be more innovative, or to get down to work on a budget or business plan, you will achieve much, much more if you get away for a day or more, change the environment and allow time for the process. If you have the opportunity, an overnight residential element greatly increases the benefit.

Wherever possible, away days should be held off-site; your facilitator will be able to advise you of suitable venues.

Find out more about awaydays or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Corporate retreats

The value of corporate retreats is that they remove the team from outside distractions for a sufficient length of time to contemplate strategic and governance issues, including the team's own development.

Corporate retreats help to solidify a management team or board of directors and enhance its effectiveness by giving members time to get to know each other and to do long range or strategic planning for the organisation.

A regular dedicated time spent at a corporate retreat off-site and away from distractions should be considered essential.

Find out more about corporate retreats or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Strategy planning and budget preparation

Strategy planning and budget preparation activities every year justify getting away from day to day interruptions.

They also justify employing an external facilitator so that every member of the team can play a full part in the process.

A facilitator will introduce many standard planning tools to strategy planning and budget preparation, including:-

  • Brainstorming
  • SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  • PEST analysis (political, economic, environmental, social, technological, legislation, regulatory)
  • Balanced scorecard
  • Scenario planning
  • Facilitators for systems thinking

Find out more about strategy planning or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Vision, mission and values workshops

Developing a vision, mission and values is the foundation for long term success. It is a serious business, which takes time, and commitment.

  • A vision helps unite people towards a purpose. Creating and living a vision is the role of leaders in organisations. They have to espouse it and help others to believe it.
  • A mission statement is a unifying statement of what an organisation is in business to do. It is a key reference point in the planning and implementation of change.
  • Values are the beliefs of an organisation, the expression of what it stands for and how it will conduct itself.

Brefi Group has a proven process for identifying and developing vision, mission and values statements, built around Robert Dilts' Logical Levels model.

Find out more about vision, mission and values workshops or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Team building

Team building needs a professional facilitator who understands team processes and can introduce relevant activities and skills training. A fun activity or event is also a powerful learning experience.

Team building for high performance requires a comprehensive approach. Depending on where the team is, this could include learning how teams are formed, psychometric profiling of team members, communication skills, analysis of team processes, and group work on vision, mission and values.

Outcomes should include well formed teams with shared goals and values, congruent with those of both individual members and the organisation, and individuals with new transferable skills.

Find out more about team building or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Increasing the effectiveness of new and dysfunctional teams

We have found that one of the most successful approaches has been to combine our consultancy, coaching and facilitation skills to include pre-interviews and away day/corporate retreats. This enables the facilitator to identify key issues in advance, it enables each individual to express and address their current challenges, and it will expose any 'elephants in the room'. The facilitator will then be able to ensure that the real issues are properly addressed during the meeting and hold everyone to account. This package enables organisations to overcome barriers, make real progress and get exceptional value.

Find out more about team building or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Scenario planning

Scenario planning is not about predicting the future. It is about exploring the future. If you are aware of what could happen, you are better able to prepare for what will happen.

Scenario planning exercises involve identifying trends and exploring the implications of projecting them forward – probably as high, medium and low forecasts. These can include political, economic, social and technological. As different trends are chosen and different combinations of forecast levels are combined, a whole spectrum of possibilities can be identified.

Find out more about scenario planning workshops or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Creativity and innovation

Creativity and innovation, lateral thinking, thinking out of the box. It's all change, change, change these days.

Continuous improvement can flow from the old models. But conceptual changes need conceptually different creative processes. This is a challenge for really bringing in external forces. For embracing maverick thinking. For doing things differently in order to do different things.

Find out more about creativity and innovation or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Mediation

Mediation involves two parties who jointly invite a third party to facilitate reaching an agreement. In some cases the mediator might need to understand contract law or to have access to comparative data. However, the principles of mediation require only that the facilitator is able to understand the objectives, beliefs and perceptions of the parties – and then facilitate mutual changes of position until the two parties can agree.

Find out more about mediation or download our FREE guide to How to Choose a Facilitator.

Testimonial

"Thanks for a stimulating two days, which has resulted in my senior management team reviewing the way they work, plan and implement. The biggest change has been in how they work together as a team! We are very pleased that a number of important business issues have been identified and already worked upon with the next steps clearly identified. In summary excellent."
Roger Randall, Managing director, Biomet UK.

What do you get?

Brefi Group organises and facilitates group meetings, away days, workshops and conferences internationally. We have worked in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, often in exciting locations.

Our customer-designed packages include: -

  • Venue search, negotiation and booking
  • Pre-briefing and agreement of outcomes
  • Design and approval of the programme
  • Organisation and administration
  • Preparation of materials
  • Management and facilitation of main event
  • Provision of keynote speakers, where required
  • Workshops and breakout sessions
  • Review, action planning and follow-up commitments
  • Photographs and visual record
  • Meeting report

We ensure that each event is structured to achieve a previously agreed outcome, but is flexible and responsive enough to deal with whatever arises, whether it be a business issue or inter-personal. We produce lots of flip chart sheets!

Elements of successful meetings and workshops

Here are some examples of activities that a facilitator could include in a meeting, workshop or awayday: -

  • Personal aspirations and outcomes for the retreat
  • Personal introductions and aspirations
  • Communication exercise
  • Strategy development
  • Vision, mission and values
  • Scenario planning
  • Modelling the current organisation
  • Designing the future organisation
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis
  • Technology, Customers, Competition, Regulatory and Environment analysis
  • Political, Environmental, Economic, Sociological and Technological environments analysis
  • Brainstorming
  • Setting well-formed outcomes
  • Balanced business scorecard
  • Psychometric profiling and feedback
  • Action planning, reporting systems and contracting
  • Introduction of specific ideas, exercises or publications

In addition to workshop activities, meals together and a complete break, with some outdoor activities, are excellent bonuses that allow the mind to consolidate the learning and be more creative, and board members to relax together.

Return to the facilitation home page.

How do I Choose a Facilitator?

Facilitation

Brefi Group helps clients bring structure and clarity to their thinking. We help identify core issues and make the complex simple, holding the space for you to create your own solutions.

Send for our FREE guide "How to Choose a Facilitator".

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