What is facilitation?
An external facilitator is essential in meetings where the discussions and deliberations of the group require full participation of all members. Facilitators make meetings work.

A professional facilitator is a neutral third party who manages a meeting, but does not participate in the content of the discussion, nor tries to influence the outcome. The facilitator supports participants in identifying their own points of view, options and action plans. Instead of opinions, a facilitator provides participants with structure and Thinking Tools. Facilitators contribute asking questions to test assumptions, gather information, invite participation, and look for hidden points or root causes. Facilitators give and receive feedback to keep meetings flowing and on track. They check for meaning and help synthesise and summarise ideas. By remaining neutral, it is always the group which takes responsibility for its decisions and outcomes.

A meeting without a facilitator is as effective as a team trying to have a game without a referee.

Ingrid Bens

The aim of facilitation in meetings is to ensure participants develop outcomes and action plans which achieve the meeting’s purpose. Good facilitation ultimately leads to better thinking and decision making. Moreover, people feel more group ownership of the meeting’s outcomes and will enthusiastically engage with follow up meetings because they know it will be time well spent.

Brainstorming is a poor mechanism for generating new ideas…simply being free in your thinking is not enough.

Edward De Bono

We have a large number of conceptual tools to facilitate rapid breakthrough results in important meetings. We employ and adapt appropriate thinking styles and strategies to the process at hand and the cultural environment. Thinking styles can include guided creative and innovative thinking, critical analysis, holistic thinking, parallel thinking, reflective thinking, strategic thinking, systems thinking and organisational thinking.

Successful Innovation Requires Change Facilitation

There is a common awareness that the rate of change is increasing, and that it is the rate of change which is causing issues for individuals and organisations.

Our capacity to adapt, even thrive on change is dependent on our perceptions of the value of change.

If innovation requires change, and if commitment to change is not a core value, then this will be reflected in negative emotional and behavioural reactions to any imposed innovation or external disruption.