It’s critical for your organization’s planning process to include the people who have a stake in its success (here’s why). A well-designed workshop can be the most effective way to tap into their collective experience and wisdom, and get them aligned around a shared vision. It’s also a fantastic way to brainstorm, learn, build collective understanding, and strengthen relationships. But it takes focused preparation, good tools, and skilled facilitation.
In recent years, I’ve designed and facilitated end-to-end strategic planning processes involving hundreds of people in four to six workshops on multiple continents. I’ve also put together dozens of individual workshops designed to help organizations tackle specific challenges or opportunities like:
- Leveraging creativity for innovation,
- Engaging donors meaningfully and effectively,
- Nurturing high-performance teams,
- Mobilizing churches to transform communities,
- Cultivating a learning organization,
- Building effective programs,
- Working cross-culturally,
Depending on your purpose and audience, there are some great workshop methods out there that can work well for your specific situation (I’ve written about some of them here), and there is an ocean of freely available information, ideas, and opinions for you to immerse yourself in. I’ve seen a lot of time and money wasted on poorly-designed workshops, but it’s also very possible to do enough independent research to pull together an effective workshop of your own.
Here are a few of my favorite starting points:
- The Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making
- The Appreciative Inquiry Summit: A Practitioner’s Guide for Leading Large Group Change
- Scenario Planning in Organizations: How to Create, Use & Assess Scenarios
- The Fifth Discipline Field Manual: Strategies & Tools for Building a Learning Organization
- The Institute Way: Simplify Strategic Planning & Management with the Balanced Scorecard
Want help with workshop design & facilitation?
If you’d like someone to walk with you through the process, I occasionally help leaders like you filter through the options, designing and facilitating a workshop (or series of workshops) to meet your goals. This typically includes:
- Two to three initial Skype calls, to…
- Get acquainted and assess the opportunity;
- Scope out your desired goals and decide on a methodology;
- Propose a custom workshop design and adjust to fit.
- Development of a detailed agenda, workbook, or other necessary materials.
- Optional coaching for a member of your organization serving as a co-facilitator.
- Travel to your site for the day(s) of the workshop(s).
- A follow-up call to assess outcomes and advise on a go-forward plan.
If you would like me to work with you through a process like this, drop me a line to arrange a free assessment call and explore what’s possible: firstname.lastname@example.org.