Change Management Developing TOP Facilitators

This post has already been read 2122 times!
0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

 As all good managers understand, it is the responsibility of management to make sure employees have the proper tools to do the job.

As a long time consultant, I have seen the damage. Good Ideas. Time, money and resources spent but only disappointment and chaos as the end result. We talk a lot about change and innovation and how important it is to be able to understand these important elements to survival and success. However, even the best due diligence and intentions are not enough to make real change match the intended goals. Indeed, one of the greatest threats to leadership is the inability to implement real change.

Human nature prefers the status quo-even when it is flawed. “If it isn’t broken” is in the eye of the beholder. One of the greatest risks to top management is the inability to make things happen. Indeed, once failed, implementing new policies and procedures becomes very much more difficult the next time it is attempted. Employees will say, “Here we go again,” or “just wait for a few months and we will be right back where we were before,” is the symptom of lack of credibility of management.

The truth is: if the right changes are identified and needed, the must be implemented and supported until the changes are seen as the “way we do things now.”

Change Management

As all good managers understand, it is the responsibility of management to make sure employees have the proper tools to do the job.

The way to make sure that change sticks requires top facilitator skills. Being able to create the vision, understanding the need and creating stakeholder buy-in is not an innate skill set. Unless you have staff that have developed and demonstrated those skills under all conditions (including extreme pushback), do you take a chance on having changes blow up?

MetaOps has developed a training course to teach these important skills. There is no need to cross your fingers or lose investment and control. As all good managers understand, it is the responsibility of management to make sure employees have the proper tools to do the job.

Program Design

Each program is a one-of-a-kind engagement. The skills content for facilitation is a defined set the candidate will master with application over time.  As an example, the five-day program below was designed to include a review of key skills in Lean Six Sigma so that Green and Black-Belt level candidates would learn TOP Facilitator skills to apply in deployment of transformation projects during and immediately after the workshop.

Sample LSS Green Belt-Level Facilitator Skills Program Contents:

  1. Fundaments of Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma for the continuous improvement and collaborative sessions for a LSSGB level (Kaizen) facilitator.
  2. Fundaments of building high-performing teams.
  3. Facilitation skills for the continuous improvement and collaborative sessions (Kaizen) facilitator.
  4. Continuous improvement and Kaizen preparation and chartering skills.
  5. Continuous improvement and Kaizen workshop facilitation with teams.
  6. Continuous improvement and Kaizen project management skills with teams.
  7. Measures and key performance metrics (KPMs) – techniques for continuous improvement and collaborative sessions for facilitators. 

Each program requires utilization of many hands-on exercises centered on Client processes and situations to aid in learning.  The workshop will simulate the ‘transformation cycle’ that the participant will be engaged in when facilitating in the future.  In the workshop, the facilitator skills participants will conduct many of the activities that occur in real change / transformation projects.  During these activities every participant will be responsible for leading facilitation and discussion.  Each participant will receive coaching and mentoring from both the instructor(s) and their teams.

High-level content of a multi-day program

Actual design of a program for a given organization is a highly collaborative effort in which we identify and integrate existing best practices and the ‘working case studies’ used for simulation and practice of facilitation skills.  The information below outlines a typical approach to content design that builds on a given set of organization change / transformation skills.

1. Introductions, Brief review of the training ‘charter’ established for the workshop participants, agenda review, set expectations.

a. Overview of skills content and program objectives
b. Review of the “33 Key TOP Facilitator Attributes” that will be practiced in the workshop

2. What it means to be “TOP” Facilitator of LSS continuous improvement and Kaizen Projects.

a. Master facilitator skills to creating a Team Code of Honor / Conduct
b. Practice Workshop – establish our team code of honor (ground rules)

3. Facilitator Skills, Part 1

a. Planning for facilitations for transformation and organizational change
b. Effective project chartering skills
c. Defining the end in mind for the facilitation

4. Facilitator Skills, Part 2

a.Team Building Skills – Foundation for TOP Facilitators

i.Facilitator’s role in building sustainable High Performing Teams

b. Understanding the dynamics of High Performing Teams, Dynamics for the TOP Facilitator

i. Effective meeting management skills

5. Facilitator Skills, Part 3

a. Dealing with Difficult Situations and People
b. Disrupters Guide for TOP Facilitators
c. Wrapping Up for Success – driving to the desired results
d. Continuous improvement – skills to sharpen the saw

6. Transformation / Organizational Change Initiative Skills Foundation and preparation for practice facilitation sessions.

a. Socratic Questioning and planning for future projects
b. Mastery of Brainstorming, Organization and Prioritization
c. Project Risk Assessment and Communications Planning Skills
d. Program and Project Management Skills for the TOP Facilitator
e. Organizational Change Management Skills for the TOP Facilitator

7. Integrated Facilitator Skills Practice Labs on real-life transformation / organizational change initiatives – during which all prior learning is put into practice.

8. Wrap up, final reflections, capture ‘learn more about’ inputs; set expectations for using the skills

Templates, supplemental readings and references include:

1. Top ’33 Skills’ for the Master Facilitator
2. Facilitation Preparation Guide
3. Disrupters Guide
4. Charter Templates
5. Data Collection instructions
6. DOE Book Chapter 15: The Continuous Improvement Routine: Your Key to Achieving Operational Excellence
7. Checklists and mapping of continuous improvement to transformation project life cycles
8. Ideation, Organization and Prioritization Workbook, useful for future projects in an Excel workbook

In summary, when engaged in making changes, understand that the “heavy lifting” takes place in the implementation. In these times of accelerated change and pressure to innovate, make sure your facilitators have the proper tools to insure success.

For more information on the TOP Facilitator Training, contact For more information about MetaExperts™  please contact:  Michele Clay | Vice President | Results Management | [email protected] | 248-881-0672 


Additional Reading

Staffing for Operational Excellence

How Top Facilitators of Organizational Transformaiton Create Change (First Segment)


If you liked this article, we'll be happy to send you one email a month to let you know the newest edition of the MetaOps/MetaExperts MegEzine has been published. Just fill the form below.