Use a Facilitator to Lead Strategic Planning Meetings
Why hire a facilitator for your strategic planning meeting if you’re perfectly comfortable leading the group yourself? Think of it this way. If you were having a party for 100 of your closest friends, assuming money was no object, would you cook for them or hire a caterer?
More than likely, you’d hire a caterer. Not because you’re incapable of whipping up potato salad, burgers, and homemade fries, but because sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the party are more fun. Besides, a caterer is trained and paid to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Why take on the extra stress?
A strategic planning meeting is no different. You or someone else in your organization are more than capable of running the meeting, but doing so isn’t the best approach. By hiring a facilitator, you can be fully engaged in the strategy and planning and leave meeting process and structure to someone else. Furthermore, hiring a facilitator is better because he or she can remain totally impartial.
Be sure to find a facilitator who understands and runs strategic planning meetings regularly. You want someone who can keep the meeting on task and guide the process so you achieve the desired outcome of a strategic plan. Outline the process by
Sitting down with the facilitator prior to the meeting
Making sure he fully understands what success looks like to you
Clearly explaining your desired outcome, what business you’re in, the strategic issues you’re facing, and the dynamics of your team
The best way to find a facilitator is through referrals. Tap in to your business associates or your business networks for their contacts.