The Value of Objective Facilitation

Do you want a consultant who gets as deep into your data as you are? Someone who will tell you what to do? You might want that—but the question is, do you need that? The answer may be no.

Having someone who is as deep into your data as you are may seem like a good idea at first. But what happens is that person then sees the same things you see, becomes unintentionally biased and develops some of the same assumptions that you do.

On the other hand, an objective facilitator can:

  1. Lead you through the innovation process.
  2. Open your eyes to new ways of looking at the challenge.
  3. Help you challenge your assumptions.
  4. Help you attack the problem from multiple angles.
  5. Ensure you have thoroughly explored the possibilities before jumping to a solution based on the same data you have.

Having someone tell you the answer may seem easier, as if you are relying on a consultant's expertise. But in the end, who really owns it? I’m not talking legal ownership—that would be you, of course—but who really owns it.

When an answer is handed over rather than co-created, we often find that people are less personally invested. This is in contrast to the results we see from a facilitated, group process. When a team is led together through a process, this leads to:

  1. Possibility exploration.
  2. Insight discovery.
  3. Solution development.
  4. More ownership by the whole team.
  5. Higher likelihood that the project will have champions and continued support.

So when you're looking for a consultant partner, remember to ask yourself what you need, not only what you want.

©2014 Ideas To Go, Inc. All rights reserved.

Beth Storz

Beth Storz is President and Innovation Process Facilitator at Ideas To Go. She co-authored the book, "Outsmart Your Instincts: How the Behavioral Innovation™ Approach Drives Your Company Forward." Beth has been a guest on many innovation podcasts and her work has been featured in media outlets such as HuffPost and Fortune. Beth holds a BS in Business Management from Cornell University and a MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and has worked in brand management at some of the premier consumer packaged goods companies—including Unilever, Kraft and Nabisco. Since joining Ideas To Go, Beth has established herself as a leader in the Innovation landscape and designed and facilitated projects for hundreds of companies—from CPG to financial services to pharmaceuticals.