Focus on Strategic
Planning and Teambuilding
Renowned business leader Jack Welch turned General Electric (GE) around by
listening to the experts--the people who do the work! He went to factories
and sought out the opinions of those closest to the work, then implemented
the suggestions made. Just as Welch (in this pioneering "work out" method)
recognized that the business experts are those closest to the work, a
skilled facilitator recognizes that the organizational solutions reside
within the group.
The goal of
a facilitated session is to bring the collective whole to success, by
extracting from the group the issues to be addressed, then the solutions to
achieve the results desired.
OEG facilitates all types of retreats--ranging from strategic planning to
organizational alignment and leadership to teambuilding. In short, any
organizational topic worth exploring lends itself to the facilitation
process. This overview focuses on strategic planning and teambuilding.
Assessment and Development
organizations are unique, meaningful facilitation can not be a cookie cutter
approach. OEG dedicates time up front to meeting with the key organizational
players, either through one-on-one interviews or through a focus group. The
chief question for these planning sessions is simple: What does success look
like--when you leave the session, it will have been a success if what
happens? When key stakeholders answer that question, OEG structures an
agenda to achieve the stated aims; agenda development is an iterative
process with OEG and the organization working collaboratively to fine tune
For strategic planning, the goal is often the development of a comprehensive
plan over a specified time frame to achieve a series of goals that support
the organization's overall mission, vision and values. In teambuilding, the
goal is often to develop internal processes, communication plans and
"commitment contracts" about how work will be accomplished within the
"I am getting extremely positive
comments about the Retreat. Thank you so much for facilitating this...You did a spectacular job and
have given this Board a tremendous start on our term (which we need...)"
Anita Zusman, President,
Political Caucus California
The heart of
the process is the on- or off-site retreat itself. Lasting from a half day
to several days, the retreat is structured to develop key concepts, then to
build upon them over the course of the session to reinforce decisions made.
The climax of the facilitation, is the individual and collective "commitment
contracts" entered into by the individual and the group to do things
differently. A critical element is the feedback or reinforcement loop the
group agrees to impose upon itself. After all, it's not what you say, it's
what you do!
Follow-up, then, is vital to the success of the process. For strategic
planning, typically an individual or small group is assigned the task of
holding itself and each individual responsible for staying on task--for
achieving the goals stated by delivering the products on time. For
teambuilding, follow-up often resides with individuals who agree, with their
bosses, to conduct themselves and to complete work differently. An effective
performance management process can reinforce and reward the commitments
Follow-up and Documentation
that success resides within the group. OEG provides retreat documentation
and will, if retained, develop a follow-up mechanism to ensure the
individual and/or team stays on target. However, OEG has observed that the
most powerful results come when the group hold itself accountable.
Facilitation Products Used
and every facilitated session is dependent upon the unique features of each
organization, OEG utilizes its own products, as well as others found in the
marketplace. For strategic planning, OEG often uses its own Benchmarks of an
Effective Organization process, which focuses on the importance of the
vertically integrated organization.
For teambuilding, OEG uses its own 360-degree and social styles assessment
products. OEG is also certified to use the Lominger Leadership Architect
Suite, Advanced Teamware TeamView and LeaderView/360, Blessing/White's
"Envision Your Future," and Target Training International's DISC.
OEG's facilitation hallmark is flexibility and will develop new materials to
assist the organization in achieving its success. OEG's flexibility also
plays itself out during the facilitated session by reworking the agenda "on
the spot" to achieve success. The goal is always to assist the organization
in achieving its success.