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Strategy facilitation can be a useful option for senior executives and their teams seeking business transformation through strategic initiatives. Such initiatives can boost company performance and in some cases ensure its survival in a competitive environment. But the stark truth is that only around a third of new strategic initiatives are completely or even largely successful. This is often because people remain set in their ways or fail to agree on the strategy implementation.
Introducing change into an organization is rarely an easy process. Individual and collective routines become embedded over time, serving to create obstacles to business transformation, as badly needed as it may be for a company. Strategy facilitation can help break down such barriers and help build commitment to drive organization change.
It's not always easy to know whether strategy facilitation, involving hiring outside experts, can work better than an internal process. There are cases when strategy facilitation backfires, resulting in staff digging their heels in against change and destroying organizational morale.
So you need to determine clearly why you need outside help with your organization change and where to get it. Professional facilitators talk a good game but not all are up to the task. Consider the advice you can get from executive education experts from top international business schools that offer strategy facilitation services.
The best strategy facilitation involves facilitators working with the executive team in charge of strategic initiatives. A skilled strategy facilitator will organize meetings to generate stakeholder engagement over shared solutions. But a facilitator should be actively involved in a company's targeted organization change before and after events.
Care should be taken in choosing a strategy facilitator. You should weigh their track record for strategy facilitation, as well as their familiarity with the subject area under discussion. A strategy facilitator, for example, who is specialized in manufacturing systems may not be the best placed for advising on developing new growth strategies. The facilitator should also have a clear understanding of the context of strategic initiatives and the challenges faced by the individuals involved.
Look to good business schools that offer strategy workshops or programs that include strategy facilitation. Such programs can prepare senior executive teams to select key strategic priorities, develop strategy implementation plans and to generally mobilize the company. Typically, well-designed strategy workshops can help you prepare your organization for the future by:
Strategy workshops are just one step in a process for sustainable business transformation. Other management training programs from top international business schools can provide members of your team with the conflict resolution skills and negotiations training often needed to shepherd organizational change. You also need follow-up to ensure that change introduced by strategic initiatives is lasting and meaningful.
A well-drafted communications plan, in addition to precise monitoring and control, can ensure the whole organization is engaged. The best strategy facilitator will provide support after strategy workshops to ensure changes are implemented and that your organization reaps positive benefits. These are just some of the many things to keep in mind when you consider the merits of strategy facilitation.