The Need

There are many occasions where organizations want to hold an event that will anticipate the future and mobilize positive energy. The assumption of organizational leadership by someone with a new vision, addressing some pressing problem such as the need to rebuild an organization after downsizing, or initiating an important conversation about a controversial new strategic direction are all examples of occasions where custom designed conference might make sense. Frequently, there is no pre-existing design for such a meeting, and a powerful experience has to be designed from scratch or put together using existing modules in a new way.

New Context's Background with such Programs

New Context Consulting has extensive experience in all facets of conference design and facilitation. Here are a few examples:

We have helped new leaders introduce themselves and their new visions to large divisions and to the rest of the leadership of their organization through such conferences.
We designed and helped lead conferences for scientists and research and development personnel on the impact that emerging technologies would have on their way of doing business.
We have helped collaborations of industry and conservation groups to identify points of both common and divergent interest without provoking animosities.hnologies), or both.
We have worked with middle managers and individual contributors to create unique "Community Days" that build camaraderie and teamwork through large systems
It could focus exclusively on product needs, or also focus on features of the supplier-customer relationship that could be improved, or both.

Methodology

Typically, a custom designed program results out of a larger consultation process in which it becomes clear that a "splashy event" of some sort could have a desired impact of communicating a particular message or set of messages to a specific population or that an extended "conversation" between the client group and one or more other groups could be useful and appropriate.

This initial idea is then fleshed out through individual and/or group conversations with members of the client system to get a clearer sense of the desired outcomes they would like to see to the program as well as identifying any concerns they might have about such an event.

An initial design is then created and presented to a liaison group from the client system that acts as internal validators of the ideas generated by New Context. The members of the "internal and external" faculties might meet several times prior to the actual event.

Roles are allocated to various participants. That is, since these programs are typically focused on something of importance to the particular client system (e.g., convincing critics that a division can be successful in achieving its stretch goals even though it has only limited resources), the members of the system itself will frequently take the lead roles, with the consultants acting as observers, facilitators and conveners of subsequent feedback sessions.

Results

An important set of messages has been transmitted from the client system to its target audiences.
Addition Key constituencies address important issues that were standing in the way of trust and openness.
Internal liaisons have an intense and positive team experience.
Internal liaisons have a rich experience in the design of organizational change processes that they can use in a variety of settings.