From Planning to Rewards

Core Competency: Planning Changes Minds, Not Simply Make Plans

Facilitating a planning session makes you a change agent. Because even President Eisenhower (then General) was known to say, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” While an effective facilitator keeps their group focused on the meeting output (ie, deliverable), the real work begins when the…

Range of Meeting Leadership Styles

Understanding the Time and Place for Individual Versus Group Decisions

The continuum of leadership behavior provides one context for understanding the best time and place for individual decisions versus group decisions. That continuum, as illustrated below, ranges from the completely subordinate-centered approach to the completely leader-centered approach. In between these extremes are another four types that blend or offset the “center” perspective. Both approaches can…

Something is Missing Here

What Important Key is Missing from Most Group Approaches to Problem Solving ?

A lot of wise, published, and acclaimed authors simply do not ‘get it.’ Presumably, most spend time in classroom environments and doing research, but less frequently do they practice what they preach.What is missing from most group approaches to problem solving, that must appear transparent to most writers, but is not? Capturing a sense of…

Smart People Make Dumb Decisions

When Smart People Make Dumb Decisions – How To Improve Group Decisions

According to experts in an emerging field called the Science of Choice, everyone can learn to make higher quality decisions. In fact, smart people make dumb decisions with alarming regularity. First, understand the primary cause of poor individual decisions—overconfidence. Then realize that one of the reasons groups make higher quality decisions than the smartest person…

Balanced Scorecard

Balanced Scorecard Demands Strategy-Focused Facilitation

Five principles of successful organizations emerged from Kaplan and Norton’s research on successful Balanced Scorecard adaptors. The five principles describe the key elements of building an organization able to focus on strategy and deliver breakthrough results, and they depend heavily on effective facilitation and group ownership. The nineties are arguably the most worldwide productive in…

Probability Based Payoff Matrix

Payoff Matrix — Quick Wins, Tried and True, or Hail Mary Passes

Quick Wins are found in the Payoff Matrix shown in the “two by two” below provides the classic means of prioritizing your options. Using return (ie, Impact of the Solution) and investment (ie, Cost of Implementation, typically time or money) as the criteria dimensions, it sorts your options into one of four categories: Quick Win…

Workshops Versus Meetings -- Support the Life Cycle of Projects and Other Initiatives

Reasons for the Difference — Meetings and Workshops

If it seems that workshops are actually well-run meetings, that is true to a certain degree. Facilitated workshops and well-run meetings are very similar. The main differences between meetings and workshops are: Meetings Primarily intended to inform by exchanging information Agenda steps are frequently time-boxed Tending to have informally defined roles and a non-neutral leader…

Subject Matter Experts

Do Facilitators Need to be Subject Matter Experts? Content vs. Context

Some of the best facilitators are NOT Subject Matter Experts within the topic and scope of the discussion; however, NOR can they afford to be subject matter ignorant. They need to be subject matter conversant and understand the terms being used and the relationship of those terms to the deliverable, but they do NOT have…

Clear Thinking

Facilitation Secret Sauce – Clear Thinking, Active Listening, & Structure

The facilitation secret sauce to leading more effective meetings and workshops reminds us to put a CAP on wasted time and energy by embracing three behaviors: Clear thinking (ie, yields consciousness) Active listening (ie, yields competence) Prepared structure (ie, yields confidence) The effective meeting leader learns to cap waste—to maintain control over direction, environment, and…


9 Components of a Structured Meeting or Workshop

A facilitated structured meeting or workshop provides an environment designed to extract high-quality information in a compressed timeframe. A structured meeting uses visual aids and a team environment to accelerate projects and amplify the quality of the decisions, outputs, deliverables, and outcomes. Therefore, the major components of the MG RUSH facilitative structured meeting technique include: A model life cycle…