Sometimes it’s important to engage large groups of interested parties in a meeting or retreat to advance an important agenda. Such meetings can be valuable springboards to success. Or not.
Often, when meetings disappoint, the dissatisfaction is due to unrealized expectations by the meeting’s leaders and/or attendees. Facilitating large groups that come together to discuss, analyze and evaluate what are often conflicting choices is something like conducting an orchestra. It requires a skill level that approaches art, allowing soloists some virtuoso time, without drowning out the whole ensemble. When it is done effectively, it usually leaves the participants astonished that so much harmony and agreement can emerge from such a medley of interests.
Concentrics has administered scores of one, two or three day retreats that have helped organizations develop an ongoing process to sustain team and group efficiencies. Our consultants have the skills to maximize the productive output of group meetings through techniques and methods that keep participants on track, adroitly handling the unforeseen, and symphonically driving the group toward common understanding, purpose and means.
This is What Works
- We start by speaking with leadership to establish the purpose behind the retreat. Why a retreat? Why now? Why this focus? We check out the background, the strategic issues and the participants’ perspectives. What are the trust levels? What is the history of partnering, communication, governance practices?
- Next we interview a subset of retreat participants (if not the entire group)
- Only then is a customized meeting designed to meet the specific needs and framework of the group
- The design is presented to the leader(s) or the established planning team and modified as needed
- Concentrics’ skilled facilitators moderate the meeting to ensure it stays on course driving forward to achieve its goals
- Afterward, Concentrics participates in a debriefing with leadership to assess Retreat outcomes
- The final phase is the establishing of follow-up steps to assure that gains from the Retreat are locked in and become permanent