A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to assist in conducting a facilitation workshop for a not-for-profit group and it got me thinking, “Why do we only ever conduct facilitation for government and not-for-profit groups?“.

It seems so foreign in the corporate landscape that any business would seek facilitation. Traditionally it’s been framed as ‘consultation’ or ‘advice’ but in many cases it’s ultimately founded on the same principles.

So why is ‘facilitation’ a dirty word in business?

This is by no means a rhetorical question either. At the end of the day, I’m not sure I have the answer but what I do know is there is as much of a need for facilitation in the corporate world as there is in any other sector.

We come across small and micro businesses all the time who demonstrate a belief that because there is only one or two people in the organisation, that a culture doesn’t exist. Or medium and large businesses that would happily accept a consultation session but would be less likely to agree to the concept of a facilitation session.

I wonder if the big fear is based on the ‘unknown’ aspects of facilitation? While it has a framework and there is always a clear objective for the outcome, is it perhaps the unknown pathway that leads to the final conclusion that makes businesses uneasy?

Consultation is much more hands off and much easier to simply brush off the advice as ‘external’ or ‘not right for me’. Where as facilitation is derived from within the organisation itself – a true and accurate reflection of the culture and its raw expression.

The fascinating part of facilitation is the way in which it allows people to become aware of other ideas, realise that many others indeed share their thoughts and that new and exciting opportunities can be created through the process.

It’s much more than simply gaining a ‘mission statement’ or discovering the ‘core values’. With the correct process, it has the power to mold the culture and develop new drive within any organisation, group or community.

It has a powerful and meaningful relationship with marketing and used correctly allows for more accurate representation of the organisation to its audience.

Facilitation is also a useful tool in assisting an organisation move forward and offers insight that can’t be gained through any other form of research or consultation.

So how could facilitation assist your organisation?