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Strategic Planning Facilitation: The Role of a Facilitator

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 229

Strategic planning facilitation helps companies hold productive planning meetings. Although different companies require different approaches, some aspects of facilitating strategic planning remain the same from company to company, particularly certain questions that are posed to help companies reach a solution. By asking the questions below, facilitators fulfill their role to a company needing assistance reaching a resolution. Instead of providing the company with answers as a consultant would, experts help the company arrive at its own answers.

Important Questions

Strategic planning Facilitators ask a combination of basic and specific questions to assist with the development of strategic plans. Below are four questions that facilitators commonly ask at planning meetings. As the questions are asked, specific questions that address the client's industry, budget, vision, etc. may be asked as well.

What is the goal?

Often, companies become so familiar with a goal that they stop discussing it as they concentrate on how to achieve it. By having companies articulate their goals at the outset of the session; the facilitator helps them decide whether any efforts that are already in place can help them achieve the goal. In doing so, they may be able to answer the next question, too.

Where are things at now?

When companies come to the point of hiring a facilitator, they have often wrestled with an issue for weeks or months, and have difficulty determining whether they are close to a resolution, or far away from one. By helping companies focus on where things are at in the present, the facilitator helps them decide what must be done to reach a resolution.

How can the goal be reached?

Re-articulating the goal, and defining how far companies are from reaching it helps companies envision the bridge that must be built from where the company is positioned to where they envision themselves. At this point, the specific, company-centric questions a facilitator asks can be especially helpful.

How can progress be monitored?

Developing a plan and not having a way to monitor its progress can cause it to be abandoned. Progress should be measured with the appropriate metrics for at least three reasons: to demonstrate that progress is indeed being made, to help keep costs under control, and to help the plan stay on schedule. A facilitator can help companies create a monitoring plan that addresses areas that must be measured.


Strategic planning facilitation focuses on increasing the productivity of the strategic planning process. To this end, the expert who performs it asks a series of questions that help group members arrive at solutions in a timely manner. The questions above are examples of the general questions that group members answer. They also answer questions that are more specific, such as questions that pertain to their company and its industry.

If your company needs a facilitator, hiring one through an agency is the best way to choose from candidates who work at a variety of fee levels, possess various types of expertise, and have received professional and/or public recognition for their work.

When a facilitation expert performs strategic planning facilitation, it helps companies form strategies at crucial business junctures.

Source: EzineArticles
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