Facilitation

 

Let me facilitate your next strategy workshop so you get maximum impact from that valuable time with your team.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Tony-Manning-IMG_7262.jpgTop executives worldwide agree that strategy workshops are invaluable for designing, reviewing, or fine-tuning strategy. And your next strategy workshop could be the most important event in your diary this year.

Success demands careful preparation, sound guidance, and a proven process that will get you to the right place without wheelspin.

Having facilitated hundreds of workshops with C-suite teams in leading firms, I can help you assess your current thinking, surface your firm’s hot issues, identify key levers of future success, and get buy-in for immediate action.

My way is simple, sound, and practical, and will help you get to a strategy that’s also simple, sound, and practical—exactly what you need in today’s difficult environment.

1. CUT TO THE CHASE!

To be effective, a strategy workshop must have a clear purpose and focus on a specific problem or challenge. This defines what must be discussed, and also determines the best process.

As well as briefing meetings, I should have access to any documents or presentations that will give me a fuller understanding of your firm’s situation and challenges. And I might also use a customised questionnaire to get the insights, opinions, and ideas of everyone who’ll participate in the workshop—and of other people too.

Based on inputs from your team—plus my own knowledge and experience—I often develop a “strategy snapshot” that captures the essence of your current situation and future possibilities, and focuses discussion on the decisions essential to your success. It’s a revealing tool that both kick-starts your strategic conversation and keeps it on track.

2. CUSTOMIZED FOR YOU

I’ll work with you to design your workshop for your unique needs. Unlike many facilitators, who rely on a favourite framework or tired process (think vision, mission, values, SWOT…), I won’t lock you into a packaged methodology that’s not right for you. I have an array of proven strategy tools, so bring out only what’s appropriate.

Strategy is a complex and often convoluted thinking process involving multiple factors, many actors, and massive uncertainties and risks. Every client’s needs are unique. So I customize my advice specifically for every new assignment.

3. DISCIPLINE AND FLEXIBILITY

Strategic conversations seldom progress in a straight line. Trying to force them to neatly fit your meeting agenda or an inappropriate template will never yield the best results. They’re crafted by human beings, through a social process. So they always involve facts and feelings, decisions and discovery, certainty and serendipity.

Discipline is essential in a strategy workshop. But flexibility matters even more. Sensing when to let discussions run and when to rein them in and summarise what’s been said and what it means, is a critical skill. Things must be orchestrated in whatever way works in the moment. Strategy facilitation has to be adaptive. The outcomes are what count.

4. MORE THAN A SLICK MEETING

As a strategist, I bring multiple benefits to your strategy debates.

First, and most important is a “strategy mindset”—the combination of “strategic IQ” and “strategy wisdom”—that enables me to offer sound and relevant advice, insights, and ideas.

Second, is a simple, sound, and practical approach based on powerful strategic conversation, global best practice, common sense, and a deep understanding of how business works in the real world.

And third, there’s my outsider’s perspective and objectivity—thanks to the fact that I’m not burdened by your history or culture; my thinking is not skewed by your biases; and I don’t have to worry about challenging sacred cows, treading on toes, raising sensitive issues, or asking difficult questions.

I’m a strategist with facilitation skill, rather than a facilitator taking a stab at strategy. My no-holds-barred approach to challenging, guiding, and inspiring top teams produces sound business results and not just warm feelings.

Far from being a passive observer or merely a note-taker, I always play an active role from start to finish. So I balance clear direction and relevant advice with acute listening.

From countless encounters with tough characters, I’m ready to deal with the politics, posturing, and power-plays that are ever-present in organizations. I ensure that no-one dominates the conversation, and that personal agendas don’t get in the way of positive outcomes.

Along the way, I highlight the good stuff and weave it into your strategy story. I add valuable insights, ideas, and suggestions—about local and global trends, what competitors are up to, what customers want, how your strategy should change, and how to do it. And I constantly provoke teams to think about their business in new and more productive ways.

5. SKILLS TRANSFER

Strategy workshops are ideal for equipping your team with useful knowledge and skills. So as I guide you through a uniquely simple and effective way to craft your strategic conversation, you gain real-life experience of an approach you’ll want to use in the future.

At the same time, based on my ongoing research, business school teaching, and authorship of multiple books and countless articles, I share with you the latest thinking in management—and specifically, in strategy.

I’ll equip your team with a new strategy toolkit, and involve them in using it. As they design and execute your new strategy they’ll gain invaluable practice in solving real-world problems—-and thus develop the “strategy mindset” that will keep your firm ahead in the battle for sales and profits.

6. INTO ACTION—WITH 30-DAY PLANS!

New clients often tell me that their previous workshops ended with no meaningful decisions, no clear action plans, no assigned responsibilities. They had a good time (some call it “teambuilding”), but went away with unfinished business.

This is an appalling waste of time and money.

In contrast, I always push for clear decisions on every key issue. And I help you reduce intentions to bite-sized chunks—to 30-day actions with specific people responsible for each. This makes work do-able. It also puts pressure into the system for rapid results. And it gives you fast feedback on what’s working and what’s not, and how people are performing—and who is not. A simple idea with multiple results!

When I work on your strategy with you, I add insights, information, and ideas; provoke deep introspection; ensure that you test all your assumptions… and push for results that matter. Clients come back because they get what they need.

7. KEEPING YOU ON TRACK

Developing strategy today is more difficult than ever. But the really hard work comes when you have to execute it. Some firms want me to come back once or twice to assist in review meetings, and ensure that the process is properly embedded. Others prefer a longer relationship. But that’s up to you.

I’ll help you design and execute your strategy in a way  that’s simple, sound, and practical—exactly what you need to win in today’s challenging environment.

8. THINK ABOUT THIS…SERIOUSLY!

Strategy is a serious matter. Strategy workshops can radically impact the future of your business. Yet many firms confirm venues, menus, and fun stuff before they hire and brief a facilitator who’ll make the process—and the cost—worthwhile. They treat strategy as an afterthought, so no-one takes it seriously.

Don’t make this mistake. Let’s talk before you start making other arrangements, so they all make sense.

GET THE MOST FROM YOUR STRATEGY WORKSHOP

Strategy is about what you will do and what you won’t do in future. It always requires choices and trade-offs. So you have to be confident that your facilitator can help you make sound decisions. And you have to be able to trust their advice.

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Contact me today to start using

Powerful Strategic Conversation

Phone +27 82 800 5862

[email protected]