Why Hiring an Independent Experienced Facilitator is a Game-Changer

Posted by Allan Steinmetz on 10 May 2023

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Unlock Your Company's Potential: Why Hiring an Independent Experienced Facilitator is a Game-Changer - 10 Reasons to Invest in an Experienced Independent Facilitator for Optimal Results

Every successful company needs a clear and compelling vision and purpose that inspires and guides its employees, partners, and customers. A vision statement captures the essence of what the company wants to achieve and why it exists. A purpose statement conveys how it will make a difference in the world. Values generally refers to the principles or beliefs that an organization holds as important and that guide its behavior, decisions, and actions. It can include a wide range of values, such as integrity, respect, innovation, teamwork, accountability, customer focus, and social responsibility.

However, crafting a vision/purpose statement and values that truly resonates with stakeholders and reflects the company's culture, strengths, and aspirations is not an easy task. That's where a skilled facilitator can make a significant difference. In this article, I will explore the benefits of having a skilled facilitator to identify a core company vision.

  1. Neutral Perspective- One of the main advantages of having a skilled facilitator to identify a core company vision/purpose and values is that they bring a neutral perspective to the process. Unlike internal stakeholders, who may have biases, assumptions, and personal agendas, a skilled facilitator can approach the task with an open mind, free of preconceptions. They can ask probing questions, challenge assumptions, and synthesize diverse viewpoints to help the group arrive at a shared understanding of the company's purpose and direction. By fostering a safe and respectful environment for dialogue and exploration, a skilled facilitator can help the group navigate potential conflicts, misunderstandings, or power dynamics that may hinder the visioning process
  2. Structured Process - Another benefit of having a skilled facilitator to identify core company vision/values is that they can provide a structured process for the group to follow. A skilled facilitator can design and customize a visioning process that fits the company's needs, culture, and goals. For example, they can use various tools and techniques, such as brainstorming, mind mapping, SWOT analysis, scenario planning, or vision boarding, to stimulate creativity, collaboration, and innovation. They can also set clear expectations, timelines, and milestones to ensure that the group stays focused, accountable, and on track. By providing a clear roadmap and framework for the visioning process, a skilled facilitator can help the group generate, refine, and prioritize ideas and arrive at a shared vision that aligns with the company's strategic priorities.
  3.  Expertise and Experience - A skilled facilitator brings not only a neutral perspective and a structured process but also expertise and experience in visioning and strategic planning. A skilled facilitator has likely facilitated visioning sessions for various organizations and industries and can bring best practices, insights, and lessons learned to the table. They can provide guidance on how to craft a compelling vision statement that is concise, memorable, and inspiring. They can also help the group translate the vision into concrete goals, objectives, and action plans that are measurable, achievable, and relevant. By sharing their expertise and experience, a skilled facilitator can elevate the quality and impact of the visioning process and help the group develop a vision that reflects their collective wisdom and aspirations.

  4. Inclusivity and Diversity - A skilled facilitator can also promote inclusivity and diversity in the visioning process. By creating a safe and respectful space for dialogue and exploration, a skilled facilitator can encourage all participants to share their perspectives, experiences, and ideas, regardless of their position, background, or identity. They can also facilitate cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration and leverage the diversity of the group to generate new insights and solutions. By fostering an inclusive and diverse visioning process, a skilled facilitator can help the group develop a vision that reflects the richness and complexity of the company's stakeholders and context.

  5. Ownership and Buy-in - A skilled facilitator can help a group develop a vision that is owned and embraced by all participants. By involving everyone in the visioning process from problem identification to solution generation to implementation planning, a facilitator can ensure that everyone feels heard, valued, and engaged. Moreover, they can encourage the group to reflect on their personal and professional goals and align them with the company's vision. By fostering a sense of ownership and buy-in, a facilitator can increase the likelihood that the vision will be implemented effectively and sustained over time. Additionally, they can help the group develop a shared language and culture around the vision and communicate it effectively to external stakeholders such as customers, investors, and partners. By promoting ownership and buy-in, a skilled facilitator can transform the visioning process from a one-time event to a continuous and collaborative journey of growth and impact.

Abundant Mentality – Inward’s Approach - VISIONEERING®

An abundant mentality is a mindset that focuses on the belief that there is enough opportunity, resources, and success to go around, and that the success of one person or organization does not diminish the success of others. It is the opposite of a scarcity mentality, which focuses on the belief that resources are limited, and the success of one person or organization comes at the expense of others. A skilled facilitator can create abundant collaboration and higher levels of output and deliverables.

Here are some key characteristics of an abundant mentality achieved through VISIONEERING:

  • Positive Mindset: Individuals with an abundant mentality tend to have a positive outlook on life, seeing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. They believe that success is possible and are willing to take risks to achieve their goals.
  • Focus on Abundance: Individuals with an abundant mentality focus on the abundance of opportunities and resources in the world, rather than on scarcity and limitations. They believe that there is enough for everyone, and that success is not a zero-sum game.
  • Collaborative Approach: Individuals with an abundant mentality often highly collaborate, believing in the power of working together to achieve common goals. They are willing to share their knowledge and resources and help others achieve success.
  • Desire to Contribute: Individuals with an abundant mentality often have a strong desire to contribute to the greater good and make a positive impact on the world. They believe that their success is tied to the success of others and that by helping others achieve their goals, they can also achieve their own.

An abundant mentality can be beneficial in both personal and professional contexts. In the workplace, it can lead to increased collaboration and teamwork, improved problem-solving, and a more positive and supportive work culture. It can also help individuals take risks, embrace change, and achieve their professional goals.

Overall, an abundant mentality is a mindset grounded in positivity, collaboration, and a belief in the abundance of opportunities and resources in the world. It is a powerful way of thinking that can help individuals and organizations achieve their goals and make a positive impact on the world.

Client Examples

Inward has a proven track record of providing offsite facilitation that has been extremely beneficial for various organizations. Here are a few examples:

  • A global investment bank hired Inward to facilitate their Visioneering process, aligning their marketing and communications leadership across four continents to support five key initiatives. Inward established a clear vision for the future, identified the gaps between the current reality and the desired future state, and developed an action plan to transform the marketing and communications behavior in a unified fashion globally.
  • A major global retailer sought to establish a unified vision for their diversity and inclusion teams worldwide. Inward facilitated a two-day offsite with 26 global and country D&I team leaders, using our Visioneering process to identify five core vision priorities and action plans for the future.
  • A Fortune 50 healthcare insurance company had several separate functional and operational business units that were working against each other. Inward facilitated a two-day offsite with all functional and operational business units, using our Visioneering process to establish an operational vision for the future, identify limitations holding the organization back, and develop a high-priority action plan and RACI plan.

In these three cases, Inward's experienced facilitators helped the organizations establish a clear vision for the future, identify gaps and limitations, and develop action plans to achieve their goals.

Engaging outside facilitators can save time and money for companies in the long run, especially when the facilitators are skilled and experienced in their field. Here are some ways in which outside facilitators can help save time and money:

6. Efficiency in process design and execution - Outside facilitators can bring a structured and efficient process to the table, accelerating the visioning process and ensuring effective execution. Skilled facilitators can help the group stay on track, manage time effectively, and move through the various stages of the visioning process efficiently. This can save time and reduce the likelihood of the process getting bogged down by unproductive discussions or disagreements.

7. Expertise in the field - Outside facilitators can bring expertise in the area of visioning, helping companies develop a more effective and impactful vision statement. Skilled facilitators are trained to ask the right questions, elicit meaningful responses, and guide the group towards a shared understanding of their purpose and direction. By leveraging their expertise, companies can ensure that their vision statement is clear, compelling, and aligned with their strategic priorities.

8. Consensus - Consensus through facilitation is a process of reaching agreement among a group of individuals with the help of a skilled facilitator. The facilitator guides the group through discussing the issues, identifying areas of agreement and disagreement, and exploring potential solutions. This approach can help build buy-in and ownership of decisions, leading to increased motivation and better outcomes. However, it requires patience, active listening, and a willingness to consider multiple perspectives. Consensus through facilitation can be a powerful tool for promoting collaboration and inclusivity, but it may take more time and effort than traditional decision-making processes.

9. Greater stakeholder alignment - Engaging outside facilitators can ensure that all stakeholders are aligned around the vision, saving time and money in the long run. When everyone is on the same page, there is less likelihood of misunderstandings, disagreements, or conflicts that can derail the visioning process. Moreover, when stakeholders are aligned, it is easier to implement the vision effectively and ensure that it is sustained over time.

10. Avoiding costly mistakes - Finally, engaging outside facilitators can help companies avoid costly mistakes that can arise from a poorly defined or executed visioning process. Without a clear and compelling vision, companies may struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors, attract and retain customers, or motivate and engage employees. 

In conclusion, a skilled facilitator can provide numerous benefits to the process of identifying a core company vision. They can offer a neutral perspective, a structured process, expertise, inclusivity, diversity, and ownership and buy-in, all of which can enhance the quality and impact of the visioning process. Therefore, companies that aim to develop a compelling and inspiring vision that aligns with their strategic priorities and engages their stakeholders should consider engaging a skilled facilitator. By investing in a skilled facilitator, companies can ensure that their vision is not just a statement on paper, but a shared purpose and direction that guides their actions and decisions towards a brighter future.

About Inward

Inward Strategic Consulting is a 26-year-old management/creative consulting firm that helps clients achieve high performance by developing comprehensive business strategies and cultures aligned with their goals, processes, and resources. They specialize in internal/external branding strategies, change management, brand purpose, and market research. They offer proprietary methodologies such as Visioneering, Inward Marketing, Dialogue Marketing, Best Practice and Benchmarking, and Qualitative and Quantitative Market Research. They have worked with Fortune 100 companies including Walmart, McDonald's, Aetna, City of Hope, and many others.

Allan Steinmetz CEO