Meetings, Meetings Everywhere!

36 Million
per Day!

Every day in the US, there are more than 36 million meetings, many of which are ineffective and unproductive. The cost of these sub-par meetings is more than $37 billion per year. What a waste!

Does my meeting need a professional facilitator?

Maybe.  Maybe not.  Here are a few important and practical considerations.

Your Leadership Beliefs

In order for facilitation to be effective, you MUST believe (and group members must believe that you believe) that:

  • Together, we are smarter than any one of us;
  • Great ideas can come from anyone, regardless of rank, seniority, or position; and
  • People (especially your people!) are generally capable, intelligent, and inclined to do the right thing.

The Group’s History

A second consideration is the group’s ability to self-manage. That is, has the group demonstrated the ability to self-facilitate, including ensuring inclusion of all points of view, sharing leadership, surfacing and resolving conflict, and reaching consensus? If so, you are dealing with a highly-developed work group or team that may not require facilitation for any but the most critical sessions.

The Importance and Value of the Meeting’s Deliverables

Face time is expensive. Any time you bring a group of people together to work on a problem, develop a plan, or make some other kind of decision, the costs (both real and opportunity) are high.

It stands to reason, then, that you will mostly be using a face-to-face meeting format when the deliverables are of high importance and potential high value. If that’s the case, use an external professional facilitator.

Simply put, this is not the time to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Using a professional facilitator vastly increases your chances of producing high-quality output. Why not give your meeting the best possible chance of success?

Your Desired Level of Personal Participation

Another consideration is your personal role. It’s likely that you’ll want to actively participate in the content of an important meeting, workshop, or retreat. Bear in mind that it’s nearly impossible to be both an engaged participant and a competent facilitator at the same time. Use your expertise where it will do the most good.

Better Meetings. Better Results.

We can help!

CLW

Cynthia Waisner, M.B.A., Ph.D.

Managing Partner

We’ve been designing and facilitating successful meetings, workshops, and retreats for almost twenty years. Our clients range from global brands such as Bayer, BDO, and Gucci to entrepreneurial startups looking for their first profits to national associations like the School Nutrition Association. The organizations we work with are very different…but the challenges they face and their need to leverage their most important meetings — what we call Meetings That Matter Most™ — is common ground.

SCHEDULE FREE PHONE CONSULT WITH CYNTHIA SCHEDULE FREE PHONE CONSULT WITH GLEN
GRW

Glen Waisner, M.B.A

Managing Partner

Meetings That Matter Most™

As professional facilitators, we will deliver high value to you and your organization when we’re used for your most important face-to-face interactions, such as:

  • a multi-day offsite meeting at which your organization’s long-term strategies and action plans were created, modified, or completely revamped;
  • a meeting of your organization’s senior leadership team intended to address internal tensions and/or competing agendas;
  • a visioning session during which the foundational direction of your enterprise was challenged and/or solidified;
  • an innovation workshop during which new products, services, or business models were envisioned;
  • a leadership development session intended to improve internal communication, effectiveness, and culture;
  • a conference of stakeholders (e.g., partners, investors, suppliers, customers, etc.) at which new information was collected and/or shared; or
  • a board-level meeting at which approval was sought for new strategies, goals, budgets, etc.

Trusted by...

BUSINESS | INDUSTRIAL

NON-PROFIT | ACADEMIC | GOVERNMENT

Mary Ann Knaus
Founder at Aquarius Group and Former SVP at Jarden Consumer Solutions

Professional and Objective Facilitator

Glen quickly assesses organizational dynamics, challenges and issues from which he facilitates tough, honest, open dialog and effective resolution. No matter the issue or challenge, Glen facilitates productive dialog and effectively leads sessions, managing divergent points of view to consensus and action. Glen diplomatically surfaces organizational blockers in an engaging fashion, encouraging participation, problem solving and commitment to accountability. As an experienced professional and objective facilitator, any executive team would benefit from Glen’s engagement.

Jerry_Z

Jerry Zuchowicki
President/GM of North America & EMEA for Newell Brands

Always Willing to Address the “Elephant in the Room”

It’s one thing to claim to be a “trusted adviser,” but quite another to deliver on that promise – and Glen does! As a member of the JCS Executive Team, I worked with Glen for years as he provided facilitation and consulting services across a host of strategic areas of our business. He was always willing to address the “elephant in the room” and help us navigate and align around some tough issues. And he never let us forget “Glen’s Rule” that “no business can outperform its leadership team long-term.” Glen would be a true asset to any business leader looking to accelerate success in their marketplace and comes with my heartfelt recommendation.

adele-suddes

Adele J Suddes
Former Vice President Communications at Textron

One of the Best Investments I’ve Ever Made

I hired Cynthia for several years when I was employed at Textron and leading its senior executive marketing council and senior executive communications council. Both groups were comprised of very diverse and opinionated executive leaders. Also in both groups were 2-3 individuals who tended to be argumentative and seemed to enjoy de-railing meetings and exploring rat holes. Bringing Cynthia in to help me plan our monthly meetings so that the meeting goals were achieved was one of the best investments I have ever made professionally.  If you are looking for expert assistance to help you bring a group of people together around a vision, mission, goals or action plans: you will find no one better than Cynthia.

What should you expect from a professional facilitator?

The important meetings we’re talking about demand the highest quality professional facilitation.

  1. You should always work with a principal, not with a sub-contractor;
  2. You should expect your facilitator to have the educational and professional credentials and experience to be credible with your group; to have gravitas;
  3. Your facilitator should be more interested in helping you achieve your objectives than being “on stage;”
  4. You should expect full-cycle facilitation, including comprehensive pre-meeting activities, flexible day-of facilitation, documentation of your meeting’s outcomes and action plans, and follow-up contact to debrief your session and help you maintain momentum; and
  5. You should expect an all-in project price instead of some sort of time-based pricing.

We check all of these boxes…and more!

Work ON Your Business, Not IN It

What do facilitation projects include?

We work closely with project sponsors to articulate detailed project expectations and deliverables that are unique to each engagement. But our facilitation projects almost always include three phases:

Prior to the Meeting

This is often the most important phase of a facilitation project. Well before the meeting itself, we spend as much time as necessary with project sponsors to understand their expectations and goals. We review background and other pertinent material. We may distribute pre-work, surveys, online assessments, or thought-starter questions. And we typically talk with all planned attendees in advance to understand their perspectives and aspirations regarding the upcoming session. 

During the Meeting

This is when the magic happens! With a clear understanding of the desired work products to be generated during the session always in mind, we guide participants on a journey that is custom designed to yield results. We facilitate you and your team such that focus is created, alignment attained, and necessary action plans documented.

After the Meeting

Within a few days of the completion of your session, we provide written documentation of the session’s conclusions and outputs. This document reminds participants of the work they did together and the commitments they’ve made to each other and your organization. 

We also connect with you by phone or video conference to debrief your session, discuss execution, and provide suggestions for on-going success.

What does all of this cost?

Our professional fees are always based upon the project, so that you can call upon us at any time without concern that the “meter is running.”  Our work is also guaranteed, and we will commit as much time as necessary to fulfill the outlined objectives and meet the agreed-to time frames.

Our typical professional fee for a custom-designed meeting, workshop, retreat or other special event typically ranges between $2,900 and $6,500 (depending on meeting duration, numbers of attendees, tools and assessments, etc.). This fee includes all three of the phases outlined above.

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Recent Projects

Here are few examples of recent facilitation projects:

Innovation Sessions

Designed and facilitated multi-day innovation, business model, and market development sessions for multiple divisions of global military and civil aviation market supplier leading to clear and focused innovation road-map for each division.

Board Meetings

Ongoing design and facilitation of quarterly Board meetings for large regional retailer experiencing record growth over period of engagement.

Partners’ Retreat

Designed and facilitated Partners’ retreat for large regional law firm in order to air issues threatening firm continuity. Taught skills in area of crucial conversations, developed behavioral agreements for interaction, and defined roles and responsibilities to reduce friction going forward.

Stakeholder Meetings and Task Forces

Designed and facilitated multiple stakeholder meetings and task forces to air diverse viewpoints and develop guidelines and standards related to and mandated by passage of federal statute. Developed stakeholder support for standards and guidelines and identified common ground among disparate stakeholders for moving forward.

Energy Firm Strategic Plan

Designed and facilitated multi-day session for senior global leaders of diversified oil and gas service provider. Defined shift in investment priorities leading to accelerated growth.

Trade Association Strategic Plan

Designed and facilitated multi-day session for board of major trade association. Developed clear 3-year strategy and plan to guide resource allocation and outreach and achieve objectives.

Business Model and Value Proposition Innovation

Engagements with multiple global business units of surface technology conglomerate. Defined value propositions for each, leading to clearer focus on particular customer segments and adjustment of business models for improved growth and profitability.

Annual Strategic Planning Process

Ongoing multi-year relationship with manufacturer of high-end smokers and barbecue technology. Established mission and vision statements, developed first strategic plan, and established senior-level team. Annually update plan in multi-day session combined with team development. Company has streamlined product offerings, clarified value propositions, and modified business models for improved growth and profitability.

Senior Team Development

Ongoing, multi-year relationship with C-suite team of multi-billion dollar global consumer products manufacturer, serving as team’s de facto “chief strategy officer.” Focus on team development and facilitation, including consultation on organization design, innovation, and product and market strategy as well as individual coaching and mentoring. Team consistently achieves organizational and financial objectives.

Synchronize Board and Management Team Expectations

Long-term engagement with corporation owned by federally recognized American Indian Tribe. Worked with Board and Management Team to establish expectations and develop cohesive and effective management team to revitalize and oversee operations of its entertainment properties. Board expectations were clarified, strategic planning process was put in place, and management performance and business outcomes improved.

Conflict Resolution and Performance Improvement

Worked with product development team of aviation-related mission systems group experiencing conflict and poor performance. Clarified team purpose and goals, team member roles and responsibilities, improved cohesion, and established clear behavioral working norms. Conflict decreased and stalled products moved forward in development pipeline.

Under-performing Team

Worked with manufacturer of chemical compounds used in the semiconductor industry to improve functioning in under-performing team engaged in unproductive conflict. Established clear statement of purpose and behavioral working norms and improved conflict resolution processes and skills.

Project Post-Mortem

Designed and facilitated a 2-day post-mortem of a multi-billion-dollar global energy project. Participants identified headwinds and tailwinds, communication barriers, etc. and agreed upon corrective actions to be applied to other on-going projects.

Customer Advisory Board

Worked with customer engagement team and senior leaders of a SaaS business to prepare for a 1-day Customer Advisory Board meetings. Facilitated CAB meeting, including various breakout sessions.

Everything DiSC® Workshops

Conducted workshops for several hundred employees of a retail luxury brand using a number of Everything DiSC® tools. Workshops improved salesperson self-awareness and taught retail personnel how to better relate to various buying styles. 

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