“YES’2 DAYS FACILITATION SAVED US 6 MONTHS - 1 YEAR.”
THE PURPOSE OF FACILITATION IS TO GET THE BEST OUT OF PEOPLE
WE OFFER HIGH LEVEL FACILITATION FOR GROUPS FROM 10 to 1000+
The Purpose of facilitation is to get the best out of people. It literally means “to make easier”.
Groups can often have set patterns, responses and positions people adopt in relationship to one another. Spotting these patterns and introducing techniques and approaches to smooth the flow, dissolve habitual resistances and augment people’s quality of connection can help achieve more in a few hours than in months or years.
The industry or subject matter make
New clients often say “but have you worked in our sector before? Do you know what our people are like?” We have now worked in many industries and public sector organisations, from professional services to food, to retail, to banking, to entertainment. Whilst of course there are subtleties and nuances the truth is people are people. What drives them, blocks them and lights them up is pretty universal. Effective facilitation releases new possibilities.
Is size truly important?
Whilst size can make an encounter more fun…. there is no size of group that is too large and nothing too small. It is all a questions of scale. We can unlock the epigenetic of effectiveness in large group as well as in small groups. We offer High Level Facilitation for small groups of 10-25 people (usually C-level) and what we call Big Mind Facilitation - large groups up to 1,000 or more.
- External facilitators are not caught up in the politics and the day to day work.
- We have a different perspective.
- ‘Only the fool that can tell the emperor he has no clothes’. As external facilitators, we call it as it is, we say what we think when nobody in the organisation dares to because it’s too much risks.
- We open new possibilities and ensure that every voice is heard.
- Facilitation gains time and achieves better results.
LET’S GET TO THE POINT… AND BEYOND.
HIGH LEVEL FACILITATION
(small groups of leaders )
• Mediation & conflict resolution
• Generating cultural shifts.
• Upgrading leadership styles.
• Establishing new norms for communication, creativity, collaboration, purpose.
Example 1: Imagine a leadership team of 7 people in a highly politicised atmosphere, who have become stuck in habits of defensiveness and justification. A new CEO enters the scene. He is an unpopular choice and several of the existing team are harbouring disappointment for not having been chosen for the role. They need to make big plans for the next two years with mounting pressure from their venture capital company. Everybody is stressed and nobody likes each other.
How do you get them to work together in a way that is cohesive, sustainable and makes them work as a team to achieve their two-year objectives?
Over four sessions we worked intensively with the team establishing new ways of working and a rejuvenated mindset. We then translated this to the rest of the business… a culture change programme that starts at the top.
Example 2: Imagine a leadership team of 12 people - most of their conversations have been structured to the point of sterility with long winded agendas, intense politicking, positioning themselves for personal rather than collective gain and doing almost everything but what needs to get done.
We spend two days with them, focusing their conversations, giving them key exercises to help them see key distinctions, drawing attention to moments when they were resistant, giving them exercises to help them progress very quickly and then holding them to their collective vision in the subsequent conversations.
It was very unusual for them to do a second day facilitation. They would normally do one day a year tops. The reason they did a second day was because the first one “ had saved them 6 months to a year”.
Example 3: In this circumstance we worked with leaders at senior partners and director level (a group of 10 people). The established an uncontested perception was that they had to spend £80 million in order to attain their annual target of £120 million. The ratio of 80:120 was set in stone in their minds.
We challenged this perception
We took the group through a 90 minute paradigm-shifting programme we have developed. An hour later it became clear that they could spend £40 million to earn their £120 million. It took 60 minutes to save £40 million.
Sometimes we wish we were paid on commission.
Example 4: In this example we were working with an N.G.O. and a large group of Palestinians based in the West Bank.
Our task was to help them see new possibilities in how they could overcome significant restrictions in the way they lived and to give them tools by which they could continue to make peaceful progress.
Our process was to take the severest limitations in which they lived and use them as a springboard for dynamic new possibilities to achieve what they wanted non violently and non politically. It can be hard to have access to people living in the West Bank for sustained periods. Therefore we had to ensure that the work we did together over two days could be sustained and grown continuously without the need for external support.
BIG MIND FACILITATION
(large groups up to 1000)
• Turning purpose and values into behaviours
• Ideation and goal setting.
• Collective problem solving & paradigm shift thinking.
• Behavioural change
Example 1: PURPOSE AND VALUES IN ACTION
We worked with all the leaders and managers of a large international organisation (50 people from 28 different nations).
It had become obvious to the group that if they were to achieve their goals they needed to attain a new level of collaboration, however they were still deeply entrenched in silo mentalities and competitive behaviours. We brought them back to their Purpose…. as individuals and as a body. Through a variety of exercises and discussions they saw that this Purpose was not a ‘nice to have’ it was an absolute necessity for their survival and development. They needed to make a fundamental choice in favour of collaboration and to be prepared to adopt a new mindset and its corresponding behaviours.
Nobody had ever addressed this group on a level of Purpose before. It was very powerful. We helped them articulate their new vision and values and gave them simple techniques they could action on a daily basis. After 12 days, they had established new ways of working knew how to apply their values very pragmatically and how to pass it on to others.That sent a beneficial shock wave throughout their organisation. It was a very efficient culture change program…. a one-hit culture shift.
Example 2: IDEAS’ MARKET PLACE (up to 3 hours)
From 40 people to several hundred.
This is a great exercise for away days, conferences, when you need to unite a group, generate fresh ideas, excite and enthuse and give people an extremely fun-filled experience.
We create a market-place where teams generate and package new ideas to achieve the organisation’s goals. They have to ‘sell’ their ideas for special currency and buy others. This single exercise generates intense creative thinking, compelling communication, dynamic collaboration and a lot of humour. It always leaves people with a real buzz and is talked about long after the event.
The Ideas Market-Place creates great filming opportunities. These clips can be released to participants over the following months to remind them of their ideas, energy and approach.
Example 3: THE GALLERY OF GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Guiding principles are some of the most condensed and actionable ways of effecting a long-term behavioural change. How then do you get large groups of people to create guiding principles for themselves they can adopt and live by on a long-term basis?
The Gallery of Guiding Principles is a process we devised where groups share stories in a particular format arounds themes. The process helps people condense their understanding into actionable guiding principles which we put on a wall in the conference room subdivided into themes. For example, if the theme is collaboration, we may have “The Spirit of Collaboration”, “The skills of Collaboration”, “The process of collaboration” etc. Through the gallery people achieve a collective acceptance of the hidden beliefs and wisdom of their peers. We then spend the remainder of the session putting these Guiding Principles to work. In the year that follows photographs of people’s hand written Guiding Principles are sent by email and SMS as a way of returning their best advice to themselves.
‘Nobody argues with their own suggestions’.
Example 4: QUADRANTS
How do you create new ideas with collective buy-in from the beginning?
From 40 people to several hundred- up to 3 hours
Quadrants is a great approach when you need to work through ideas and come up with well formed plan which achieves collective buy-in quickly.
We start by dividing the room into quadrants - we then get people to create ideas and circulate them around the room through the different quadrants so that there is a critical amount of ideas. In the following 4 rounds each group refines, plans and problem-solves each others’ ideas. Typically in one hour with a group of 250 people we generate 50 highly developed, clean ideas aligned with organisational objectives. These are then distilled down to 5-7 new actionable ideas which have the collective buy-in of all.
Example: 250 partners from a professional services firm gathered together. Despite the fact that they worked for the same firm the goals and behaviours of different teams were often contradictory. Yet, they needed to be able to work all together to create a common focus for the next stage of the firm’s development. Quadrants allowed them to develop ideas in a way which bypassed their usual resistances and gave them a clear direction behind which they could all unite.
Once established this system can be reapplied electronically through email, social media and other media.