Business leaders frequently ask: Why hire a facilitator for strategic planning days and strategy programs? A way to think about it: As organizations look to chart their future course, effective organizational plotting is essential. But when thinking about suggestions like why hire a facilitator for strategic planning, you’ve got to remember that strategy development process can be complex and challenging to navigate, especially when involving a diverse group of leaders and stakeholders. It’s where professional facilitators can move the needle towards driving a successful strategic planning initiative. Consider several compelling reasons why you want to book an external consultant here:

Neutral Third-Party Perspective

A professional facilitator brings an objective, unbiased outside view to the strategic planning process. Unlike internal team members who may have preconceived notions or personal agendas, a facilitator can provide a truly impartial perspective. The neutrality allows for more open dialogue, healthy debate, and collaborative problem-solving.

Expertise in Group Dynamics

When you consider why hire a facilitator for strategic planning, note that consultants are adept at managing group dynamics and creating an environment conducive to productive discussions. They have the skills to engage all participants, encourage diverse viewpoints, and navigate interpersonal tensions or conflicts that may arise. It fosters an inclusive process where all voices are heard.

Structured Process and Time Management

Strategic planning sessions can easily derail or lose focus without proper structure and time management. Facilitators excel at designing agendas, keeping discussions on track, and ensuring that key objectives are addressed within the allotted time. Their process-oriented approach maximizes the productivity and efficiency of meetings.

Creative Facilitation Techniques

Another reason why hire a facilitator for strategic planning: Consulting leaders bring a toolkit of creative facilitation techniques and activities to the table. From brainstorming exercises and ideation methods to prioritization frameworks and decision-making tools, these techniques can stimulate innovative thinking and drive more effective strategic planning outcomes.

Objective Documentation

Throughout the strategic planning process, facilitators objectively capture top discussion points, decisions, action items, and next steps. The comprehensive documentation ensures that nothing is missed or miscommunicated, providing a clear record of the strategic planning outputs for future reference and implementation.

Maintaining Momentum and Follow-Through

Strategic planning is not a one-time event; it’s an ongoing process. Facilitators can help organizations maintain momentum after the initial planning sessions by outlining follow-up activities, accountability measures, and mechanisms for monitoring progress and adjusting course as needed.

While internal teams possess valuable organizational knowledge and context, the point of why hire a facilitator for strategic planning is because an external facilitation consultant offers a fresh perspective, proven process expertise, and dedicated focus on driving a productive strategic planning endeavor. Via hiring a skilled facilitator, organizations can maximize the effectiveness of their strategic planning efforts, leading to more aligned, actionable, and impactful strategies for long-term success.