Biases Impact Decision Quality

Why We Need Trained, Professional Facilitators Who Can Guard Against Bias

Individuals and groups can frankly be wrong, when they think they are right. Professional facilitators get groups to focus on the conflict of the issues and ideas rather than the conflict between the people advocating those ideas. At the same time, they need to guard against bias. The chance of error when making complex decisions…

BPI Phase One Check-Off

How to Facilitate Business Process Improvement Projects

Change or Die – How to Facilitate Business Process Improvement (Manual) ships from Amazon and other fine book sellers. Hence, tt feels good and has the right girth, not too thick and not too thin. Therefore, if your organization recognizes opportunities to improve, this book details a proven method, built upon the consensual technique of…

Structured Facilitation Begins with Your Holarchy

Holarchy: The Discipline of Structured Facilitation Contrasted to Kum-Bah-Yah

The discipline of structured facilitation differs from what we respectfully refer to as “Kum Bah Yah” or “warm and fuzzy” facilitation that frequently begins by co-creating ground rules. Most corporate environments simply do not afford enough time to follow the slow but sure path of building trust and camaraderie among participants. The holarchy provides a…

Same Height?

Be on Guard for Selective Perception and other Meeting Participant Biases

Guard against selective perception.  As their session leader, remember that everything heard in a meeting or workshop is interpreted and filtered differently by participants. They will hear or see differently based on their individual biases, or colored lenses. To illustrate the point, the vastly different pictures below are all from the same area in space…

WHY Are We Doing This

How to Help a Group Decide the WHY, WHAT, and HOW—Purpose, Criteria, and Options

To facilitate consensus around simple decision-making, consider the following scenario and do not forget to help the group articulate the purpose of the project your meeting supports. Let us say for example that four of us are taking a trip from Minneapolis to New Orleans. Therefore, consider why we are going, the options, and how…


How to Effectively Build a Consensual Message for Project Updates in 30 Minutes

Purpose of 30-30 Project Updates: Time is precious. Stakeholders want and need project updates but do not want to over invest. Dashboards are a fine example, relying on green lights, yellow lights, and red lights to highlight the status of project activities. Another approach you can use includes the “30 in 3” update. It takes less…

Remove Distractions

Effective Facilitators Remember to Remove Distractions to Provide More Focus

Getting participants to focus on the same thing at the same time represents one of the hardest thing to accomplish with a group of people. Therefore, learning to remove distractions reflects a core skill and primary responsibility of the meeting leader. Your Rosetta Stone: Remove Distractions Remember that all questions you have about what you…

Facilitation Guidelines

15 Facilitation Guidelines Followed by Professional Facilitators

In the role of facilitator, you can be worth your weight in gold by following these fifteen simple, yet critical facilitation guidelines. 15 Facilitation Guidelines Session leaders must observe carefully and listen to all that the group says and does. Be there! Totally immerse your body, mind, and spirit in the method of the group. Recognize…

Executing Your Strategy

Facilitators’ Overview of the HBR Book Executing Your Strategy

Executing Your Strategy was published by Harvard Business School Press and written by two MG RUSH alumni. The tightly woven book provides instruction on how to transform strategy into projects. Writers Morgan and Malek (both previously professors at Stanford University), spoke with us about the importance of professional facilitation to both “plan your work” (strategy) and…

Three Questions for Clarity and Precision

Three Simple yet Precise Questions that Improve Group Clarity and Consensus Building

We have learned during facilitated meetings and workshops, that it’s not easy for participants to respond to broad questions like “How do you solve global hunger?”  While meaningful, the question’s scope is too broad (and perhaps vague) to stimulate specific, actionable (ie, SMART) responses like “We could convert eight abandoned mine shafts in Somalia to create…