Employees' retreat or employees in retreat? Sometimes, your needs and plans to get a group to deliver - whether on ideas, products or solutions - just won't work without a new level of thinking and interacting.
Here are some of the ways we support mandates that involve group facilitation:
We carefully explore and identify intended outcomes of the sponsor through deep discovery interviews and brainstorming, and look at how these can mesh with the goals and aspirations of those who are to attend a meeting. Sometimes, this includes formal needs assessment surveying and key informant interviewing.
During a recent mandate, we were advised that the client needed to begin a process of reshaping corporate culture. What did we do? We proposed to facilitate a day-long group meeting - during which matters of sensitivity could be discussed without prejudice, and supported by some of the best thinking and practices on organizational culture improvement we could find documented in the business literature. And then we put our spin on it, understanding where participants were coming from, and chunking down the new information to its aha! moments. The same research savvy used in this project - a tenacious chase of best practices - we'll bring to your mandate.
We'll find ways to engage meeting stakeholders, going well beyond PowerPoint and flipcharts. All of us crave something valuable and something engaging, if not fun; our team, leveraging curiosity about the human experience and a rich history in games and crafts (from involvement in the Scouting movement!) gets that great insight comes from great interactions. Great interactions - why, they are fun, pressured, inclusive, and appeal to the range of personalities at the meeting. One recent mandate had us dealing with teens, seniors, healthcare professionals and information technologists all in the same room - all focused on creating an iPhone app for teens. The results - clever app functionality pseudo-requirements, sketches of screens, and a lot of high-fives!
Our team has great people, people with just the right balance of energy and humility to get groups opening up and sharing. Group facilitation is an art that requires humour, intelligence, curiosity, quick thinking/processing, respect, collaboration, pioneering spirit and a profound sense of commitment to outcomes. We deliver all of that - and leave people amazed at what can be achieved in a short period of time with a bit of camaraderie and self-interest.
Guiding Star Communications and Consulting brings practical experience in warming up and gathering light from groups - as diverse as patients, marketers, physicians, nurses, volunteers and management teams - to facilitate the delivery outcomes. Novel brainstorming? We do that. Difficult negotiations? We do that. Development of new product plans? We do that. Specialized marketing or sales training? We do that. Insight. Gained. Shared.