I recently sent out a three question survey to approximately 40 clients who have used external facilitators. My purpose was to develop a better understanding of their reasons and rationale for using an external facilitator . . . rather than engaging an internal facilitator . . . or none at all. The majority of respondents were CEOs and senior executives across a range of industry sectors.

Here are the three questions I posed:

  1. Under what circumstances (or in what situations) do you feel there is tangible benefit provided to you and/or your organization by engaging the services of an external facilitator
  2. What added value do you expect an external facilitator to provide?
  3. Once the engagement has concluded, how do you determine if you received a good return on your investment in an external facilitator? What indications of success or impact do you look for (short or long term)?

The accompanying pdf lists the categorized responses to these questions. You will notice substantial overlap—which I believe is a good thing! These represent clusters of responses and although there are some individual responses not represented here, all of the repeated comments have been captured.

I hope you find this information at the very least, interesting and beyond that, potentially valuable in your decision to engage and measure the effectiveness of external facilitators.

There are some implications to be drawn from the survey results with respect to contracting an external facilitator, which I am happy to share as I draft them.  Please contact me directly with any questions or comments.

David Gouthro, CSP


Using an External Facilitator–Why Bother?!? [A]
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