We design and facilitate conferences, workshops and team meetings (virtual and face to face), ranging from highly strategic interventions such as working with leadership teams to develop a new strategy and agenda for change, to more tactical interventions such as a project team that has difficult issues to resolve. Whatever the need, we aim to engage everyone to make a difference.
For organisations seeking to create, implement and sustain effective Human Performance (HuP) we can also mobilise and facilitate:
- internal HuP 'workstreams' which have clear goals and specific deliverables to achieve;
- HuP Communities of Practice which are focused on sharing knowledge and building understanding to help promote consistency in the application of HuP across the business.
We have facilitated groups of up to 200 people around the world. However, no matter the size of the group or the task, the goal remains the same: to deliver an outstanding result every time.
We bring challenge, external perspective, balance, energy and structure to every event. Our approach delivers a deep commitment to making things happen – frustration and disappointment are things of the past!
We do this by:
- understanding the background, the goals and the audience;
- developing a robust programme and process to achieve these goals;
- facilitating the event; and
- keeping a finger on the pulse after the event to ensure that results are delivered.
Perhaps in your organisation you have heard yourself and others say "What a complete waste of time!" after yet another unproductive meeting or workshop. If so, then you might also like to consider why it is allowed to happen: is it habit? (its just the way it is and always will be) lack of skill? lack of leadership? Or is it all of these things and more? We all attend and lead meetings of one sort or another and for some roles, the working day may be taken up entirely with meetings. Sadly, in our experience, most meetings would typically score 5 or 6 out of 10 in terms of effectiveness so there is plenty of scope for improvement; the savings in time alone make it a "no brainer" business case for change. However, even when common sense guidelines on meeting management have been followed, success is not guaranteed. The answer lies in using a facilitator or having highly effective meeting leaders well trained in facilitation skills.
The role of a facilitator is to guide a group of people to a successful outcome, no matter what obstacles appear along the way. In other words, success is guaranteed. Facilitating is a process that involves:
- looking after everyone involved in the event;
- ensuring that the objectives and agenda are clearly understood by all;
- engaging everyone – hearts as well as minds;
- challenging the thinking;
- stimulating debate;
- developing ambition;
- exposing assumptions that are taken for granted;
- extracting key issues from a complex discussion;
- summarising agreements reached;
- and ensuring an action orientation on completion.
And all this is just part of the the facilitator role! When you engage us to facilitate an event successfully, we make sure to:
- meet the person responsible for staging the session;
- establish a clear understanding of goals, audience and issues;
- as necessary, meet other key stakeholders beforehand, especially for major events;
- design a robust programme (we call it a process) for the event;
- facilitate the event itself;
- support follow through on actions agreed; and
- offer ideas around making similar events in the future even more successful.
Our aim is to develop sufficient understanding, of both your organisation in general and the goals of the event in particular, to ensure success. Nonetheless, we avoid getting so close as to lose objectivity and the willingness to challenge. You know your organisation; we know facilitating. It's the combination of the two that delivers results. And to recap, we have facilitated events of all sizes, with varied audiences on a range of topics, including:
- strategy development workshops;
- operational and organisational change planning meetings;
- product and service innovation workshops;
- team building events;
- building new relationships with customers and/or suppliers;
- competitive 'war games';
- conferences and meetings of professional bodies;
- team problem solving sessions; and
- project team meetings.
We strike a balance between achieving stated goals and making the event enjoyable - clients find this combination generally delivers the best results.
One of the main obstacles in making use of a facilitator is that it appears to be an admission of failure on the part of the event leader. Nothing could be further from the truth. Using a facilitator is about getting the best out of any situation, especially when the stakes are high – surely that can't be wrong.
“Gerry’s talents as a facilitator and his ability to make the team feel at ease and comfortable but also keep them focused and on task led to a very successful outcome for the team and it would not have been possible without Gerry’s leadership and guidance. - Seamus O'Connor, Senior Manger, Analytical Sciences, Regeneron
“Facilitating progress on group objectives requires a facilitator to command the attention of and maintain the focus of the group. Doing so can be a significant challenge when the group is a geographically dispersed set of professionals with diverse experience. Despite this challenge, Gerry has successfully facilitated the growth of BPOG's Human Performance and Deviation Management work-streams to prominence within BPOG and as recognized thought-leaders in these disciplines within the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry."- John Wilkes, Senior Manager, Astra Zeneca Biologics
"Overall his valuable facilitation saved Lonza at least 2 years on integration of Human Performance as part of the Dedicated to Excellence Strategy for operations, branded as Lonza Error Prevention System." - Michael Moedler, Director Dedicated to Excellence and Pharma and Biotech Academy, Lonza
Gerry is a professional facilitator with the magic touch. He has a way of deepening the sense of purpose of a meeting and focusing minds while at the same time maintaining high spirits and energy levels throughout with all manner of energisers. Strongly recommended."
- Sarah Lloyd-Jones - Innovation Process Manager, Unilever Europe