Facilitation is about engaging individuals and groups to develop not just solutions, but strategies that deliver sustainable results. Learning Set facilitators will do more than support the meeting process, they will support Set members’ as change leaders, in thinking differently, building momentum and appetite for change and follow up on the progress of strategy implementation. A skilled Set facilitator will help you increase the probability of success of each change initiative you drive.
The Set facilitator will help Set members’ who are engaged in leading change, revisit their values and the beliefs that have guided past decision making and enable them to develop new thinking to view problems and opportunities from new perspectives
The facilitation of strategy implementation in the Learning Set is a 4 stage process.
The facilitator maintains the effectiveness and engagement of the Set as a group, supporting issue / opportunity identification clarity and strategy development, through enabling rigorous reflection on complex issues in the face of uncertainty and complexity. Guiding consideration and understanding of the context, and of the views of relevant stakeholders. Ensuring proper understanding of what outcomes stakeholders might find acceptable and anticipating resistance to change is vital for effective strategy development.
Guiding strategy development
During the meeting the facilitator will use analytical tools and group thinking to engage the change leader (Set member) in:
- Looking at the situation through the different lenses of other Set members and consider alternative interpretations of situations
- Challenge existing thinking and “mental models”
The facilitator guides strategy development towards problem solving and solution design, helps the Set make decisions and ensure a balanced analysis to each solution. It is the facilitator who is responsible for setting a strong foundation for successful strategy implementation by ensuring that the Set produces an implementation roadmap for decisions reached, including a stakeholder engagement plan. The facilitation must re-inforce disciplines that ensure decisions are translated into action and measurable outcomes.
Post-meeting implementation and follow up
The post meeting implementation of strategy is solely the change leader (Set member) responsibility. Access to the facilitator between meetings as a sounding board and a guide helps keep the implementation on track. Decisions made in developing an implementation map won’t know what the implementation will look like. The unique bond and relationship of trust that develops between the facilitator and the Set member gives the facilitator “permission” to do “checks” on progress between meetings and allows the Set member to use the facilitator as a confidential sounding board and support for when strategy encounters problems.
Holding to account for follow through
A great strategy developed at a Set meeting may encounter obstacles and barriers to successful implementation. There are many reasons why the strategy may fall over, or be at risk. Follow through at the next Set meeting and reflection will increase learning to build greater success for future change initiatives. It will also support the change leader in building change leadership skills, greater personal resilience and provide value through the camaraderie of a trusted advisor and peers.