If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll certainly never get there.  But all too often when we seek to engage others either to buy or use a product or to embrace our cause or point of view, we start the conversation in the wrong place. This is where professional facilitation comes in handy−to make sure we make the kind of connection we are expecting.

Ask the right questions.

Last week, while attending The Creative Problem Solving Institute in Buffalo, New York, I was reminded about how important it is to make sure you are asking the right questions when seeking to solve problems or engender innovative thinking.  But this process holds true for how companies and organizations communicate with their audiences.  It’s critical to identify the real issue (s) that matter to your audience and how interacting with you, your ideas or products helps or hinders them.

Facilitation & Conversation

The next time you are planning to start a conversation with your publics either in the form of a new product release or new campaign, take the time to understand what it is you are truly delivering to your audience.   There are lots of tools out there to help you do this (including the structured CPS process that was the focus of the conference last weekend more on that in future posts). I am haunted by something Guy Kawaski, entrepreneur and venture capitalist once said:  “If I were in the refrigeration business, I wouldn’t be looking at the next cooling coil.  I’d be looking at bio-tech because the real issue is preserving food.”  It’s easy to jump to tactics because thinking through what you are really doing and are all about are difficult tasks.  But if you don’t, you won’t get far,  or worse you’ll never get there at all.