Facilitation: Align Your Teams

From annual strategic planning meetings to intimate discussions about thorny topics, we align teams by facilitating meaningful conversations that result in innovative work with clear agreements and action steps.

We work with CEOs, division heads and board chairs facing:

  • Challenging team dynamics;
  • Disagreement about mission, vision and strategy;
  • Tension between team members;
  • The need to become more innovative and nimble;
  • A volatile, fast-changing external environment (i.e., new federal regulations, new competition, etc.);
  • Broken or outdated organizational systems and processes; and
  • The need to attract and build relationships with the right clients, alliance partners, vendors, employees and others.

Phase 1: Assess

We work to understand the issues facing your organization today, and the variety of differing perspectives people have about those issues.

Phase 2: Conduct Small Group Consultations

If specific people on the team disagree strongly about critical topics, we bring them together to address these disagreements in an intimate, facilitated setting before they get into the room with the rest of the team.

We teach people how to advocate for their own perspectives and also listen in a new way—not necessarily to agree, but to understand where the other person might be coming from, and why. We model the behavior we are expecting by calmly yet authoritatively listening, advocating, and asking clarifying questions. We enable by helping people experience a new type of dialogue that they can replicate on their own.

This work ultimately increases the likelihood of productive team-wide dialogue in Phase 4.

Phase 3: Design

We work collaboratively with you to design meeting purposes, desired outcomes, and agendas.

Phase 4: Facilitate

When we facilitate, you and your team members will be asked to:

  • Speak openly and authentically;
  • Be respectful of others’ needs and opinions;
  • Discuss the real issues at stake (even if they are not on the prepared agenda); and
  • Walk away with clear agreements and next steps.

Phase 5: Report

We deliver Output Reports that provide a detailed review of your discussions, their outcomes, and a record of agreements and next steps.

An Output Report helps you recall – even months or years later – exactly what you discussed, and the outcomes of those discussions. It also serves as an Accountability Indicator. You can use it to easily track people’s fulfillment on their commitments.

Phase 6: Implement

We serve as an implementation partner to ensure efficient short-term and effective long-term implementation. We help you trouble-shoot and problem-solve in the moment as you lead teams to implement innovative, complex solutions.

Phase 7: Reflect

Throughout the process, we help you assess what is working well and what could be done more effectively, so you are constantly improving.

Case Study: Senior Management Team Intervention

The problem: Linda, the CEO of a global software development company, knew she needed to have a tough conversation with her senior management team about how they were working together – or, more precisely, how they were not working together. Communication on the team had broken down because different team members had varying perspectives on important issues, and were not finding productive ways to address them. Some were angry but silent, while others were fighting openly – and loudly. The team knew they needed to discuss how to communicate across departments, how to make decisions together as a team, and how to manage the hand-off from the Sales department to Engagement Management once a new client had been signed on, a process that had been historically unclear and was getting more and more fraught and confused over time. Read more on the blog >

“It always seems impossible until it's done.” – Nelson Mandela

“I think of Alignment Strategies Group when I need a facilitated discussion on something that is very complex.  I know they will be able to help us manage very difficult decisions by skillfully facilitating challenging, but necessary and important discussions.”

– Debbie Madden, CEO, Stride

“You are clearly very skilled at being able to pick the bones out of very complex issues and make excellent suggestions to move the discussion forward.”

– Katherine Miller, President, Board of Directors, New York Association for Collaborative Practice