Collaborative Session Facilitation

Collaborative Sessions

This is the heart of WaveChangers – the design and facilitation of collaborative sessions. 

For over 15 years we have worked with hundreds of clients to design and lead productive sessions that increase collaboration and build momentum for change.

These sessions can be a short as a few hours, or as long as a few days, and they can involve as few as 8 participants, or up to hundreds.  The typical collaborative session involves 15- 30 participants and lasts 2 days.  

These sessions can be used to support many different business, church or ministry activities.  Sessions always include development of a greater understanding and alignment for action.  

We use the Results-based Conversations method for all collaborative sessions.

RbC Collaboration Method

RbC is a facilitative method based upon principles, not techniques.

As such, it is guided by a “Design Document”, rather than in-the-moment facilitation techniques.

A Design Document is a detailed agenda created by the owner(s) of a session and Tom McGehee prior to the session itself. This ensures that the conversations and work done in the session will accomplish the goals and objectives set for the session.

Tom McGehee began working with collaborative facilitation, over 20 years ago, while a Partner at Ernst & Young, LLP.

Tom McGehee

Tom McGehee

Founder, Facilitator and Trainer

Tom is the founder of WaveChanger and the author of the Results-based Conversations method.  For over 20 years, Tom has worked with businesses and ministries around the world to help them create and manage change as they fulfill their organizational mission.

Tom is an acknowledged leader in collaborative work, and systemic change. He is a published author, speaker, and thought leader in the world of collaboration and culture change.

Facilitating RbC Sessions

Facilitating an RbC session is different from traditional facilitation.

Because it is based on a Design Document, Tom’s role is more that of a coach rather than a “process cop”.

His focus is to guide participants through the planned Activities in the Design.  As he does, he monitors both individual and group interactions.

With his background, Tom knows when to stimulate creative thinking and when to focus workgroups on detailed action planning.

He is able to create the best dialogue, engage each person and elicit the best thinking all while ensuring the objectives of each Activity are accomplished.

Throughout the Session, Tom’s focus is enabling the RbC process and not controlling the outcomes.

To summarize, Tom is focused on helping participants have the best conversations, they can!

"As an executive with John Deere, I have used the RbC method in a variety of applications to include large corporate gatherings, unit strategy development sessions, and international sessions. 

The RbC method creates collaborative decisions, produces detailed actions, but just as important creates real ownership for those actions.”

Denny Daughtery

Director, Global Marketing @ John Deere

“In a global corporation, it is imperative to have an aligned leadership team to have any hope of executing a world-wide strategy.

I have used the RbC method several times to create just such strategies.

Each time the process accelerated results, reduced our overall risk, and created real alignment and buy-in across business lines, andgeographic regions.”

Hilary Ware

Chief Human Resources Officer @ Cheniere Energy Inc.

What are Examples of the Value of RbC?

  • In 3 days, an international organization created their annual corporate strategy including substrategies for specific geographic areas with direct input from 80 participants.

  • A large retailer collaborated with its largest supplier to create an innovative win-win partnership after several years of no progress.

  • The CIO of a communication company restructured his entire I.T. organization, in four days, to meet changing company priorities.

  • Two Regional VP's, who were former competitors, were able to jointly  identify millions in new sales opportunities after being acquired by a new organization.

  • Faced with competing demands for changes and improvements, an organization gathered 70 key staff and developed a prioritized rollout plan for a new ERP system.

What is the "secret sauce" of an RbC Session?

RbC is based on four over-arching assumptions.

1. The answers are in the room.  RbC is not about imposing outside viewpoints.  It's about having the right participants in the room to get the right answers for your organization.

2. Collaboration is not about addition but about multiplication.  RbC sessions not only produce detailed actions but they also draw out innovative possibilities and allow for the emergence of new ideas.

3. People own what they create.  In RbC sessions, participants are actively involved.  They become emotionally invested in objectives they help to create.

4. Collaborative Session Desgn is the key to achieving results.  RbC is not like "traditional facilitation.  Senior leaders engage in defining the work to be done prior to the session.  They influence the direction of the work during the session to achieve desired outcomes

What is the Real Value of Collaboration?

The answer, to this question, may seem obvious but many do not see the scope of the problem in today's world.  RbC helps organizations overcome common collaborative challenges including:

  • Empowering a diverse Workforce

  • Enhancing Alliances/Partnerships

  • Managing Organizational Change

  • Challenging timeframes

  • Integrating remote work-teams

  • Discovering innovative solutions

  • Leveraging the power of Ideas

RbC builds effective collaboration as a foundational component of organizational health and performance.  It reduces organizational friction, creates common objectives, motivates people and values their contributions.

What are typical Goals of an RbC Session?

Common objectives for Sessions include:

1. Creating specific action plans for driving organization change across business units

2. Identifying specific organizational changes that will increase performance and accelerate results

3. Aligning multiple viewpoints toward a common goal

4. Building team values across multiple disparate units

How is the Success of an RbC Session measured?

Prior to the RbC session, the RbC facilitator and Session Owner work closely together to create the Session Design.  The RbC method uses a structured approach to ensure objectives and outcomes are defined clearly beforehand.  The success of the RbC Session is based on accomplishing the specific outcomes and objectives.