Facilitation is a soft word with deep-seated implications. It only began to be used widely in meeting settings in the past 30 years and initially referred to the function of planning meetings and acting as a conductor of processes within that meeting. Some might think of it as an agenda-keeper, traffic director, or recorder. While those are necessary functions in a meeting we’ve found the role of facilitator to be more than that.

A good facilitator is an interesting combination of observer,

Skill at facilitation is acquired. It’s acquired through experience and challenge. The ability to handle a wide range of personalities, situations, and challenging topics or developments is obvious. But to be able to stay neutral without losing the group’s engagement is an art. A good facilitator brings skill, attributes, and experience to his or her work. And one other thing.

The best facilitators work from a repertoire of technique. In Bob Treadway’s case that comes from his work as a consulting futurist. Futuring is best done in collaboration with clients. That collaboration requires planning, coordination, and on-the-fly application of foresight technique and process. The same skills that develop robust strategies are those that extend to facilitation of decision-making, implementation, and other group processes.

What you should expect from a facilitator is not just pretty flip charts, or charming illustrations, or even an extensive post-facilitation report.

You want an
enabler who can deliver on expectations, get the right decisions and buy-in, and action-oriented results. Time after time, this is what we deliver.