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Currently viewing the tag: "Consensus Conference"

In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their consensus conference pic 1business by 10 or 100 times. Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 Methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives. Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If it is the management’s goal to generate consensus and options regarding a controversial topic or issue, then the Consensus Conference is the most appropriate method to undertake.

Understanding the Consensus Conference

Consensus Conference is a 3-day intensive program that provides a vehicle for organizations to meaningfully influence policy decisions. Strategically, its application spans a broad range of uses.  It can be used in the development of new regulations, generating new debate and understanding, consolidating politics, building bridges between interest groups and perspectives, and removing organizational silos.

Consensus Conference is also useful for combining many forms of knowledge and a method for obtaining informed opinions.  Interestingly, the Consensus Conference provides a vehicle for organizations to meaningfully influence policy decisions, conflict assessment, clarification of attitudes, and assessing the relevance of an issue.

Approach to Consensus Conference

The Consensus Conference starts with Planning and the Recruitment & Selection of Panel. Thereafter, significant issues relevant to the topic of concern are discovered, drawn, and documented during the first 2 weekends prior to the Consensus Conference.

Consensus Conference

  1. Planning. The primary objective of the Planning stage is to determine the Management Staff and Advisory Committee. This also includes defining the scope, topic, and allocating budget.
  1. Recruitment & Selection of Panel. At this stage, the planning team starts screening and onboarding members of the Panel. Potential members of the Panel are qualified in accordance with established criteria.
  1. First Study Weekend. The First Study Weekend is the start of a steep learning curve for the members of the Panel. It is the beginning of relationship building between the Project Management Team, the Facilitator, and the Panelists.
  1. Second Study Weekend. The Second Study Weekend takes on the agenda planned by the Panel during the First Study Weekend. At this stage, there is further development of competence for the final week and shifting of control of the process decisions and facilitation to the Panel.
  1. Consensus Conference. The main event, the Consensus Conference provides the avenue for discussion on topics and issues of great importance and impact to the organization. Its primary objective is to influence policy decisions and assess the relevance of issues undertaken.
  1. Dissemination and Evaluation. One month after the Consensus Conference, a Final Report is prepared and disseminated to policy-makers, departments, and individuals in the organization. A debriefing is conducted 1 to 2 months after the conference. An evaluation is conducted 1 to 12 months after the conduct of the Consensus Conference.

Conducting a Consensus Conference is intensive. Hence, it is necessary to gain mastery of the approach to allow organizations to effectively use Consensus Conference as a tool for assessing an identified critical topic.

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Whether the focus is a strategy, operations, tax, finance, HR, or IT, management consulting firms have become a staple of corporate life. FromConsulting Workshop Series pic1 defining strategic directions to simply serving as an additional pair of hands for outsourced work, management consultants have become inextricably linked to the success of most large organizations.

However, festering underneath the myriad consulting offerings, methodologies, and tools, management consulting firms are exposed to vulnerabilities that are unraveling the consulting business model. It is the same kind of dramatic disruption that is affecting other companies and other industries.

An industry becomes susceptible to disruption when it becomes entrenched in its longstanding solutions and financial structures. Management consulting firms are not immune to the dynamics of disruption. In an industry where the basis of competition becomes efficiency versus innovation and new solutions, disruption is just around the horizon. While many consultants and consulting firms have established practices advising clients on strategies to leverage disruptive trends and technologies, only a few apply these to themselves.

In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their business by 10 or 100 times. Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series 101 provides a good understanding of the 10 methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives. Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

The Importance of Mastering Consulting Workshops

Consulting Workshops are tools used to maximize performance, align strategies, and actualize potentials of organizations. Management consulting firms leverage workshops as an effective way to rapidly reach decisions within client organizations.

Workshops usually last 1 to 5 days. They are typically used to gather stakeholders who normally don’t cross paths–e.g. stakeholders from different departments, different business units, and/or different regions. Within the workshop, the consulting firm plays the role of both facilitator and external subject matter expert.

The 10 Primary Workshop Methods

The 10 Primary Workshop Methods promote the conduct of a consulting workshop that is strategic and systematic to achieve its purpose and objectives.

  1. Charrette. The primary objective of Charrette is to generate consensus among diverse groups of people and form an action plan.
  1. Citizens Jury. The Citizens Jury method leads participants to come up with a decision that is representative of average citizens who has been well informed on the issue.
  1. Consensus Conference. Its primary objective is to come up with a consensus and a decision on a controversial topic.
  1. Delphi. Delphi is a method that exposes all opinions and options regarding a complex issue.
  1. Expert Panel. The Expert Panel synthesizes a variety of inputs on a specialized topic and produces recommendations.
  1. Focus Group. The primary aim of the Focus Group is to expose different group opinions on an issue and why these are held.
  1. PAME. PAME is Participatory Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation. PAME is basically used for evaluating and learning.
  1. Planning Cells. In Planning Cells, participants are made to learn about and choose between multiple options regarding an urgent and important action. In the end, an action plan is developed.
  1. Scenarios. Scenarios are used for planning and preparing for an uncertain future. This is basically vision-building.
  1. World Café. World Café is a consulting workshop method that is used for generating and sharing ideas.

Each method of conducting workshop differs in terms of objective, topics, participants, and time. Understanding the differences and purpose of the Consulting Workshop Series Methods will allow organizations to conduct the workshop with the greatest impact where one is desperately needed.

Interested in gaining more understanding of the 10 Primary Workshop Methods? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Consulting Workshop Series here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.