This set of suggested strategies aims to help you in designing a thorough and detailed agenda that is (a) structured, logical and outcome-driven; and at the same time (b) flexible, allowing for flow and emergence. Here are some things to consider:
(1) Make sure you are really tuned in to the detail of ALL of the desired outcomes for the event. Often clients have a notion of these. However, rarely are these articulated in a sufficiently nuanced fashion. For example, rarely is due attention given to both to the desired outputs (such as a written vision statement, an action plan, a letter to policy makers), the ‘hard outcomes’ (such as consensus going forward, decisions taken, items prioritized) and the ‘soft outcomes’ (such as sense of ownership, enthusiasm and energy for going forward, improved relationships between group participants). Prepare yourself well, ensuring clarity around these objectives AND how they are prioritized by your client and participants.