Mastering the Art of Effective Facilitation


Picture credit from Kevin Kuhne's Book Illustrations

One of the things that really stood out at this year’s Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit was watching great facilitators at work.  The Leading Edge team of Carol Grannis and Cindy Maher are professional adult educators and a big part of their remarkable delivery is their razor-sharp facilitation skills.  But I want to also give a ‘shout out’ to Brian Schnell for his masterful facilitation of the outstanding CEO panels scheduled throughout the event.

Brian executed perfectly on all the key components of effective facilitation which include:

  1. Designing and planning the process and key objectives ahead of time – in this case, a focus on Leadership in all aspects of a franchise system.
  2. Guiding and controlling the group process to ensure that there is effective participation from both panel and audience members – the entire event from start to finish was an interactive and dynamic experience! 
  3. Recording Outcomes to ensure that actions and questions are properly recorded and actioned – Brian repeatedly reminded attendees to record our ‘Golden Nuggets’ from each session on the action sheets provided.

When planning your franchise convention, keep in mind that Panel of the Pros sessions are consistently the highest ranked and most popular.  Mining the collective intelligence of experienced franchisees from your own system stimulates creative ideas, creates meaningful dialogue and is delivered with a level of rock-solid credibility.  Franchisees walk away feeling that insights and tips from their peers can immediately be implemented in their own businesses.

But be aware – having a skilled facilitator manage these sessions is a must! 

A good facilitator will keep the panel on topic and contributing to a positive outcome, make sure that everyone is making an equal and meaningful contribution and engage the audience through the process.

In thinking about Brian’s skills as a facilitator and why this event was so wonderfully successful, I came across this great article on what it takes to be a great facilitator that might be helpful

More soon…


P.S. Check out more of these fun 2013 Faegre BD Franchise Summit pics…

Donald Burleson and Carol Grannis_553x415px

Donald Burleson of Jani-King International and Carol Grannis

Rooftop Reverlry - John Francis, Eric Stites, & Boris Katsnelson_553x415px

Rooftop Revelry – left to right: John Francis of Twin State Development, Boris Katsnelson of Mountain Ridge Capital & Eric Stites of Franchise Business Review

Brian and the gang having big fun at the networking dinner

Brian and the gang having big fun at the networking dinner


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