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There is no doubt that whoever is leading or planning a strategy day, sets the tone.

Whether the facilitator is someone internal, or an external expert, their role is to ensure the design of the day(s) suits the objectives.  But it doesn’t stop there. How they set expectations, manage participants and keep the day running smoothly is also essential.  A great facilitator is well aware of the fine balance of setting it up and then stepping out of the way and letting the people create the magic.  But, why don’t they?

Have you been to many off sites or problem solving days that you can never get back? Was it 4 hours of your day that you’ll never get back? 2 days? A week altogether, including the meetings and planning beforehand?

Many years ago, I was working with a professional services client. Their revenue had been decreasing for the past 18 months. In this time, no new services lines were introduced. I was told this was the key issue that was stunting growth; a lack of innovation and development. They wanted the senior leadership team to solve this problem by developing new service lines that would turn the business around.

When we get our people together for strategic or team planning days – we are conscious of making the time and effort count. We come with great expectations when our people gather, and rightly so.

I can recall sitting in far too many ‘strategic planning days’ which turned into talk fests of problems; lots of opposing ideas and often the loudest voices winning. It’s like a Pro Hart’s art with his food on carpet situation. Seemingly creative but a hell of a mess to clean up or make sense of.

When I first started managing a team it was hard. Yes, it was exciting to be able to influence others, help them be better and to start ‘playing’ with the leadership team. But it was hard. The most difficult thing was working out how to motivate the individuals who were not meeting targets and KPI’s. Especially when they were good hearted people.

My good friend and colleague Peter Cook and I have been working together on an exciting project. We have been building IP (intellectual property) and designing some super cool models. I had one of the models from our IP mocked up and sent to him. It had a glaring mistake in it.

I’ve been doing Mindful in May which is a global mindful practice. I have been watching interviews on some of the world leaders in meditation and mindfulness, and doing their guided meditations every day. It’s made a serious and noticeable impact in my life only two weeks in. I feel calmer, more aware of my thinking and quite honestly happier. As it’s been a rough start to the year on a personal level, the timing has been perfect.

Who wants to attend a one day workshop on the new values and behaviours your company has decided upon?  I’m going to take a punt and suggest it’s... not many.  When I ask this questions of participants in my workshops there is rarely more than 15% who are keen to attend.  Comments like “here we go again”, “I don’t have time for this” and “I don’t see the point” spring to mind.

Who can relate to seeing posters with values and behaviours pinned on the office walls? Perhaps they even looked pretty impressive with a fabulous infographic, some inspiring quote and bright colours yet… the people don’t live true to them? 

About Georgia

Georgia is obsessed with the power of great communication. She knows how great communication leads to great collaboration and helps create outstanding cultures.


Email: justine@georgiamurch.com

Phone: 0407 158 620

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