Management workshops are a great alternative for a comprehensive consulting project if you’re short on time or budget.
A well-designed workshop can get everyone together for solving problems. This supports better decision-making and developing action plans. Workshops are great for training as well.
Usually facilitated by a consultant, workshops are a time and cost-effective ways to solve lingering business issues and develop solutions.
Custom Workshops for Decision-Making and Training
To be effective, a workshop for a company audience needs to be custom-tailored to deal with the specific issues the firm is facing.
If a management workshop tries to cover too much it becomes ineffective. A clearly defined, limited number of topics is best for a more effective workshop program.
A workshop program structured to address a specific issue should include all stakeholders, not just the decision-makers.
To make the program more effective the facilitator should meet with the stakeholders prior to the workshop to get a better understanding of the topics, goals, and objectives.
Each stakeholder, or department within an organization, may see the problem differently and, consequently, have a different solution in mind.
Some stakeholders may not even acknowledge there is an issue in the first place. This is why preparation is so important to identify these gaps ahead of time, and not at the start of the workshop session.
Workshops can also be very effective for training management teams and key employees on important business concepts, methods, and tools.
In a hands-on environment, a one- or two-day workshop can get everyone up-to-date on a variety of topics that are important to how the business is being operated and how key business decisions are made.
A workshop consultant with experience in facilitating workshops will be able to develop a program on a topic that is unique and of particular interest to the business, such as:
- Business strategy
- Marketing strategy
- Competitive analysis
- Industry analysis
- Product pricing
- Segmentation and targeting
- Differentiation and positioning
- Value proposition
- Digital marketing
- Sales & marketing processes
- Internet strategy
- Lead generation
Strategic planning workshops
Formal strategic planning takes time and requires a committed, longer-term approach. On the other hand, a well-designed workshop can be a great way to quickly address strategic issues, set priorities, and define action items.
A two- or three-day workshop can include a comprehensive overview of strategic competencies, the competitive position of the business, and the key strategic priorities the firm should be focusing on.
These workshops involve a thorough review of the marketing strategy, sales & marketing processes, and formulation of the smart marketing strategy needed to beat the competition.
A hands-on program guides management through the formulation of an actionable marketing plan.
Benefits of Management Workshops
Meeting facilitation – A consultant makes sure that everyone contributes to the discussion. And, because workshops typically only last a day or two, it’s important to manage the agenda to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
Managers can fully participate – No longer distracted by having to run the workshop, executives can now fully participate in the discussions and contribute to problem-solving. The workshop facilitator keeps the meetings on track and on schedule.
Expertise – The workshop facilitator brings experience and expertise to the meeting to help management address and solve their business issues. The discussions can be more in-depth and are likely to produce results.
Fresh eyes, independent perspective – A consultant brings fresh eyes and an independent perspective. This helps to create clarity and challenges the status quo, improving the effectiveness of the workshop and the quality of the end result.
Usually, the workshop facilitator has experience across a range of market sectors. This allows them to share ideas and best practices.
Structured decision-making process – A problem-solving workshop should not end in limbo. A key objective is to address the issues, get everyone’s input, and then make smart decisions about how to move forward.
The workshop facilitator needs to make sure that decisions are made. Leaving things at an impasse is not a good way to wrap up the event.
Creating an action plan – Decisions need to be followed by action. Creating an action plan is often a key deliverable of the workshop.
The plan defines the specifics of each action item. This could include the objective, the person responsible, deliverables, timeline, as well as the required budget and resources needed.