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What is a group facilitated meeting?
A group facilitated meeting is a meeting where a Profesional Facilitator proposes to the owner of the meeting (could be the group, a group member or an external sponsor) a specific agenda design that is previously discussed and agreed, comprising a combination of group process tools that would deliver both tangible and intangible meeting outcomes.
What is groupVision´s specialized facilitation?
groupVision’s group facilitation services specialize in highly participatory group facilitation methods and the use of a particular type of groupware support tools. These tools include, among others, the facilitated Electronic Meeting Support service (EMS) which offers a high energy interactive approach to support business processes.
Does groupVision provides only Electronic Meeting Support (EMS) or are other approaches also available?
We are very strong in EMS Facilitation but yes, we also support other types of meeting methodologies. We achieve excellent results using popular formats such as Open Space technology, World Café and Learning Café but we can also create a ‘custom made’ meeting template according to our customer’s previously identified needs. We pride ourselves on being technology independent. Our sole commitment is to achieve the best possible results for both the group and the host organizations. We also conduct meetings where our computer network is only used afterwards to collect the records from participants that work exclusively with paper and pen or their own choice of digital device.
How do we charge for our Facilitated meeting services?
Our affordable fees are quoted on a project by project basis. You will receive a fixed-price quote, so you can budget your program reliably. Our quoted price will include all advanced planning, all equipment supplied and set up, the level of facilitation support requested, and follow-up activities which include the preparation of the final protocols.
Who is using our Facilitated meeting services?
Our customers range from large multinational firms to small local companies. We support a variety of open forums and think-tanks where the participants are from outside organizations. Our support is used at the board level and throughout organizations within departments and project teams. Organizations often want our EMS support for annual review meetings and strategy planning sessions. Team-building, problem solving and decision making processes are common applications we support within all organizations.
What role do we perform during meetings?
Most often we facilitate, and run the meeting from start to finish, being responsible for the contents, the group dynamics and the process. We also work with other consultants or facilitators and share these roles. We adjust our responsibilities so we can leverage the capabilities of the support staff and team members. The role of the team leader is also considered to allow the right mix of leadership and team involvement. We strive to ensure a balance of good processes with desired outcomes.
How do we prepare a client’s project meeting?
Our Fast Track approach ensures that adequate preparation for even the most complex meeting is done right. Here’s what we do…
1) We meet the team leader to assess the objectives.
- Identify the meeting scope and deliverables, etc.
- Discuss history, needs, objectives, processes, etc.
- Identify the participants and group dynamics.
2) We plan an appropriate program using our EMS tools.
- Build an appropriate agenda (privately).
- Select and configure the appropriate tools.
- Structure meeting activities to your needs.
3) Provide a run-through with an electronic agenda.
- Have a 2nd meeting with the client or team leader.
- Describe the process and walk-through EMS agenda.
- Confirm the process meets expectations and will produce the desired deliverables
4) We supply a complete network with all workstations.
- Set-up the computer network at the meeting site
5)We facilitate your meeting according to your needs.
- Run and facilitate the meeting prepare printed reports as agreed with you
Do we always do the facilitation in meetings?
Not always. Sometimes we are asked to support a forum or event by supplying the EMS system and giving coaching to other facilitators. Coaching is an important part of our services, because facilitators need to know how to make the best use of the EMS tools and keep a fast-paced process under control. When working with other facilitators, we run the EMS tools, starting and stopping the participants in the various activities, and organize the content as needed.
What type of consulting services do we offer?
We offer a wide variety of consulting services that are supported with our EMS system. Decision-making, creative problem solving, business excellence programs, self-assessments, strategic planning, building balanced scorecards, vision building, and project meetings are examples of business processes we improve for you.
We work with groups in meetings, workshops, executive committees, forums, project meetings and conferences, for brainstorming, decision-making, planning, organizing, thoughtful analysis, consensus building and negotiation.
In all our work, we are challenged to simultaneously increase the speed of analysis, planning and decision making while increasing the involvement of participants, without compromising the quality or depth of analysis.
What exactly is our Fast Track service?
Fast Track is our proven facilitated EMS service that gives the maximum benefits, full assurance, and predictable results at an affordable cost. Our clients can plan their key events and programs by reviewing proven meeting templates as a guide to their planning. With this service, our clients have a dependable, cost efficient way to get the maximum benefits from EMS support. As the name says, it is a fast and thorough implementation to keep your team on track to achieve their goals. This service follows a five-step plan.
Can I facilitate an Electronic Meeting Support (EMS) meeting myself?
Yes, considering a few factors, you can. Depending on the complexity, the number of participants, the scope of your responsibilities, and your knowledge of the subject at hand, you can facilitate a meeting using EMS support.
If you want our support to run the system and help out with support details, you can facilitate a meeting with a minimum of preparation. We will brief you on the major capabilities of the EMS software and help you map the various EMS tools to your meeting process.
Experienced facilitators will have no difficulty adapting EMS support to their own unique facilitation style. Ideally, some formal training is beneficial to take full advantage of EMS and to apply the appropriate tools to your processes. We provide training for facilitators and project leaders in an interactive one or two day hands-on training program.
What type of meeting problems does groupVision group facilitation solve?
The effectiveness and efficiency of meetings and brainstorming sessions often leaves a lot to be desired. The different actions and reactions of individuals in conferences can have a negative effect on the development of ideas. Creative solutions are lost in the heat of the discussions. Compromises are often made for fear of superiors or colleagues.
Not everyone is heard and decision making is often long-winded. Participants openly show their boredom or become irritated. The ultimate result of the meeting is seldom what was expected.
Research has shown that by improving the quality of meetings with group facilitation support tools, the meeting duration decreases more than 40% and project times can decrease as much as 90%. For example, our participant feedback surveys have consistently rated EMS supported meetings at a much higher level of satisfaction, participation and results.
What kinds of meetings are supported with EMS?
The possibilities are as varied and creative as the organizations themselves. Meeting processes may be complex subjects where large amounts of information and options must be processed, or where people from various disciplines are involved. Examples include:
– Vision building
– M&A negotiations
– Team building
– Risk analysis
– Project evaluations
– Strategy development
– Crisis management
– Product innovation
– Needs assessment
– Benchmarking & best practice
– Open space meetings
– Business excellence
How is an EMS supported meeting used by a group in meetings?
Participants use a network of computers during the meeting to perform their tasks. One computer on the network serves as a leader station which controls the activities on the participants’ workstations. The leader station is also beamed to a public display screen.
The facilitator-leader controls the tempo of the meeting with an electronic agenda which drives the meeting process. From the leader station the participants are started and stopped in the agenda activities while the facilitator gives instructions to the participants for each step in the activity. The participants enter their ideas on their keyboards and view all the ideas submitted by the group during discussions.
The results of one activity may become the starting point for a follow-up activity in a drill-down fashion to reach a final decision. Participants use their computers to input ideas, vote and analyze issues, and to follow the discussions.
What is the added value provided by meeting?
EMS enables group members to work together more efficiently. Anonymity lets people freely exchange ideas and the simultaneous input of ideas cuts the time required. Generated information is also automatically documented. The psychological effect of working this way is that everyone is heard and taken seriously. Ideas do not get lost in the process, and it is clearer where there is consensus.
Issues with a high priority or poor consensus receive more attention, and there is more involvement and buy in with decisions and the final results. The meeting activities are better prepared and monitored because the agenda is an integral part of the electronic process.
A greater number of alternatives can be produced and analyzed in more depth, offering the participants better opportunities to reach consensus. All data is available during and immediately following the meeting, (on paper or electronically). EMS substantially optimizes a group’s processes
Does an EMS supported meeting always require a facilitator?
Yes, a facilitator experienced with the use of EMS is required. An experienced facilitator can balance the speed of decision making and the involvement of the participants with the quality and depth of the analysis and discussions.
A separate facilitator may not be mandatory if the person who calls the meeting can also lead the meeting if there is adequate knowledge of the EMS tools.
However, because electronic meetings offer many more options and potential variations to the process flow, it increases the responsibilities of the facilitator. Having a skilled facilitator who knows how to use the system is an advantage.