Use a Facilitator to Lead Strategic Planning Meetings - dummies

Use a Facilitator to Lead Strategic Planning Meetings

By Erica Olsen

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.