- Achieve better thinking. * Engage people better. * Make better decisions and choices
Using a professional, external facilitator can be so powerful for achieving more productive meetings. Doing so offers so many potential benefits, not least:
- Internal managers are freed up to focus on contributing to the meeting
- Expert design, structuring and planning of the meeting, including supportive techniques/tools
- Getting through the planned agenda more assuredly and achieving the goals set
- Skilful handling of group dynamics and maximising everyone’s participation
- Useful, ‘outside-in’ perspective to help challenge the group and stimulate wider thinking
Owen Morris offers such support for a wide variety of meetings and events, including away-days, conferences, and workshops – mostly face-to-face meetings but also online (or hybrid).
Board, strategic & management away-days
It’s vital for a top-team to spend dedicated, uninterrupted time together at periodic intervals to reflect and think, consider big issues and make key decisions, as well as build relationships with each other. Examples of typical topics for away-days include: reviewing progress of a business plan; updating an organisation’s vision and values; reviewing a company’s management sructure; or to do some ‘blue-sky’ thinking about selected major issues or developments.
Executive away-days are our speciality. As well as expertise in facilitating such events, Mike, our senior partner, has that vital breadth of senior management acumen and experience.
Beyond just running your away-day, complementary areas where he could assist include, for example: advising on what overall planning process or techniques to use; conducting advance consultation interviews with stakeholders; liaising with other professional experts needed; or helping managers draw-up follow-on action plans.
Conferences, workshops & other meetings
Corporate / staff conferences
Getting all or many of your staff away from the office to spend some extended time together can be a powerful way to help inform, inspire, align and motivate employees. Some typical aims include: to improve understanding of the business environment and a company’s forward strategy; to thank staff for their hard-work and build engagement; to brief on a major new company policy or process; or to seek input on selected issues leaders are thinking about.
A staff conference is a big investment, so the time on the day must be used well. Sessions must be valuable, not just fun. Communications must be informative, respectful and motivational.
Problem-solving & innovation workshops
A dedicated group workshop, with a carefully structured and facilitated approach, can be a hugely effective way to think, create, resolve and plan. The subject might be a complex or difficult problem that needs extended review and discussion (e.g. how to respond to a new competitor). Or a major decision or detailed plan that needs to be arrived at collaboratively (e.g. design of a staff wellbeing strategy).
Workshops are also ideal, of course, for providing dedicated time and creative space for developing and planning new or improved products, services or processes. For innovation purposes like this, we design and deliver workshops that ensure the critical mix of elements, including tone/mood, openness, focus, provocation, thinking techniques, and overall process.
Team-building & organisational development workshops
All teams in an organisation – not just the senior-team – need ideally to spend extended time together periodically to attain and keep up high levels of performance. Acting as a supportive coach, Mike designs and runs customised workshops for both established and new teams, helping leaders and team-members together to review and boost all critical aspects of how they interact and work together – from basic structural issues like clarity of team purpose and roles to vital ‘softer’ aspects like leader’s style, trust, and relationships. See our dedicated web-page on ‘Team and Organisation Development’.
Workshops to review & discuss projects, studies and reports
As for a team, workshops can help individual project groups. For example, at start-up stage (for going through key items like goals, methodology and milestones) and at review intervals. Also, at project-end, a facilitator can particularly add value by helping review discussions of project findings, learning points by team members, as well as getting agreement on conclusions and follow-on actions.
Workshops can also be a great way, of course, for a group to review and discuss in a structured way the findings, ideas or proposals coming from a completed study, review, or consultation exercise, as a basis for reaching a consensus on following action..
Staff, customer & other stakeholder forums
Workshops can be perfect for consulting stakeholders and sharing/discussing company news, ideas, plans or specific initiatives, perhaps following or backing-up other communications tools. In such a way, leaders can gain valuable feedback, comment and suggestions to help them make better decisions. As a qualified researcher, not just a faciltiator, Mike has the perfect skill-set to assist your organisation’s consultation needs.
Our facilitation approach & experience
As facilitators, our essential role for any meeting is to create a vibrant, open, positive and collaborative atmosphere and help group members work productively towards set goals and outputs. Our approach is always to discuss and plan the meeting carefully and jointly with you ahead of the day, designing an event which is results-focused, enjoyable and in tune with your organisation’s preferences and culture.
We have over ten years’ experience as professional facilitators across a diverse range of sectors, ranging, for example, from IT consultancy firms and furniture manufacturers through to large, national charities. You can also be assured in that all our work adheres to the high standards and values defined by the International Association of Facilitators, which cover areas like confidentiality, facilitator impartiality, and keeping an environment of trust and safety for everyone in meetings.
Get in touch!
We’re Owen Morris Partnership – specialists in strategic and team facilitation services. We’d love to be of service to your organisation.
To discuss a meeting or event you’re planning, do get in touch and have a chat with Mike. Either phone us at our office on 01886 881092 or email us via the Contact page on this website.