Category Archives: Meeting Facilitation

Managing under pressure

Staying Cool When the Heat is On: 16 Practical Ways to Lead and Manage through Stress

  “Lurching from one crisis to the next”. That’s how it is sometimes for leaders in stormy waters. “If only there were a dull moment”, one coaching client recently said. “I yearn for a dull moment”. Pressure and the resulting stress response is both part of the journey but potentially a big problem for leaders

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Corporate Priorities

Choosing Business Priorities: Trump, Welch, Gates and Buffett

A friend of mine who designs websites once characterised the typical client dilemma with a hint of sarcasm:  “I want everything to be prominent.  Everything has to stand out above everything else.”  This is something we all experience. I often see good organisations drowning in “corporate priorities”.  A great long shopping list, hundreds of items long

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Sizzling Strategy Questions

No matter how big the business, there are some questions that are always relevant and, if answered with insight, honesty and creativity, will give you armfuls of value.  Here are some useful strategy questions I use with groups and individuals:  

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9 ways to make time for Strategy

With the best of intentions, strategy is often neglected.  One of the Catch-22 problems of growing a business is that the more successful you are, the more operationally demanding the business becomes.  The more operationally demanding, the less time to think about and plan for the future.  Very soon, business managers run into the busy-ness

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Facilitating conflict

Facilitating Conflict in Boards and Teams

You get a call.  Ostensibly, the request is couched as an innocuous “team-building day” for a senior team. But scratch beneath the surface, there is often unhelpful conflict that one or more of the group wants to work on and which has motivated them to get in contact.  The more I do, the more I

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Chairing Skills

Chairing Skills: The Socratic Method

The Chair is the Chief Facilitator of the Board.  Having an orderly process for dialogue makes meetings so much more satisfying.  When I train or coach Chairs, one of the tools they love is the Socratic Method of enquiry.  Two and a half thousand years old, named after Socrates, it’s a method of asking and answering questions to

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Strategy questions about the future

7 Questions about the future when Business Planning

It’s the future (or not keeping pace with it) that does you in. The trouble is, most companies just trot out the same-old, same-old tired PESTLE and SWOT grids at Business Planning time.  What they really need is a vigorous and stimulating debate.  Inventive, speculative conversations where people really take a view based on intuition,

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Strategy Business Planning

7 Strategy Questions to Create a Shared Map

Imagine being on a team trek and each person is following a slightly different destination and map. It would make progress hard work, slow and fractious.  We’ve all been there. Many companies and organisations are like this.  People, teams, departments have a slightly different view of the destination and nobody is quite certain what the

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Facilitation and training room

Beach Babes and Bedouin Tents: Rooms that work for Groups

A few months ago, I was running a strategy event for a large international company.  It was held in Scheveningen, a very cool beach resort in the Netherlands – a mile of uber-funky restaurants.  As we were working and the sun was gently warming the day, I became aware of a silent procession of extremely good-looking

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Facilitator facilitation

10 Ways to Get the Best from your Facilitator

1.  Let the facilitator evaluate the situation.  A good facilitator is much more than someone who chairs the meeting you hand them.  Facilitators focus on outcomes – changes and results you wish to create.  So don’t just hand them your session design.  Use their diagnostic skils to understand your desired outcomes and what might prevent

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