Great Meetings

Meetings are an art form.

Great Meetings

The Best Meetings

We facilitate great meetings. This has been our core business and our competitive advantage since the beginning of our consulting practice. We design every meeting and we partner with you to make sure you achieve your outcomes and every attendee’s experience is unique, valuable, and memorable. We do this by creating ways for each and every attendee to make a personal contribution throughout your meeting.

We specialize in full participation, high engagement meetings. We believe strongly in the “Wisdom of Teams” and in the “potential of group process.” Over and over again we have experienced how difficult it is to beat a well-designed and executed group process. We are “reflective practitioners,” learning by doing, modifying, redoing, and evaluating. We are master teachers and we instruct others how to facilitate great meetings. It’s one of the fundamental skills that enable teams to achieve high performance. We call our work Action Research Facilitation, and when we apply these techniques to your meeting we will create enormous potential for achieving extraordinary results.

Everyone wants to participate at your meeting. They want to be included and they want to make a significant contribution. We work to create new and innovative ways to help people connect, share ideas, prioritize work, and surface difficult issues in meetings. In facilitating meetings, a big part of the work is to let the group do its own research, arrive at its own conclusions, and plan for how it moves to higher levels of performance.

If this sounds appealing you, please contact us. When we talk, we will show you some of the tools and techniques we employ to help your team achieve extraordinary results.

If you’d like a list of some of our clients, We’ll be happy to send you their contact information. They’ll gladly share their experience working with us.

Our process

We promise to work collaboratively with you and your design team to deliver a meeting packed with participation. a meeting that will engage your participants in every session.

Our passion for creating a great meeting is part of our DNA. Combined with what we know about how to design interactive sessions where each executive or team member feels included, significant, and welcomed, we guarantee to  produce a unique and memorable experience for you and your organization. 

Our facilitation highlights you, your speakers, and your content. We work behind the scenes and make the minimal interventions necessary to ensure your success. We have refined our craft over 30 years and hundreds of meetings – large and small. When necessary we also can design on the spot – to make sure that something that’s come up gets worked the way you want it to be discussed. 

craftsmanship trumps passion

Future Search Conference

McNeil Consulting is capable of conducting a Future Search Conference, which sets a strategy for the next 10 years of an organization. In our experience, chasing either team or culture does not create high performance teams and high performance cultures. Rather, they build themselves by deciding to create extraordinary experiences for their stakeholders, their employees, and the people they serve.

Future Search is a planning meeting that helps people transform their capability for action very quickly. The meeting is task-focused. It brings together 60 to 80 people in one room. Future Search brings people from all walks of life into the same conversation – those with resources, expertise, formal authority, and need. They meet for 12 to 16 hours spread across two to three days. People tell stories about their past, present, and desired future. Through dialogue, they discover their common ground. Only then do they make concrete action plans.

Applications for a Future Search Conference

Future Search Conferences are ideal for creating a new, shared vision for an organization where alignment and commitment is built into the very process of creating the desired future together. It is most useful for setting the groundwork for bold new directions where the organization values and desires gathers input from their diverse stakeholders. In our experience, organizations choose a Future Search Conference when they want:

  • A large reorganization to be implemented with less resistance, more commitment, and faster alignment
  • To enter new markets with a bold new vision and a collaborative workforce
  • Real contributions from their stakeholders to co-create a desired vision for their organization
  • To infuse the organization with a new positive focus based on diverse thinking that finds common ground

Basic Conference Outline

Analysis of the Past

People map the key events their own lives, the world, and in the history of their organization. Small groups tell their stories about their timelines and the implications these stories have for the organization and the desired future they will build together.

Focus on Present, External Trends

The whole group makes a “mind map” of trends affecting them now and prioritizes the most important trends that will affect their future.

Focus on Present, External Trends

Stakeholder groups describe how they are working today on the most important trends identified by the whole group. They call out specific insights, learning, and issues they are facing while working on these trends.

Focus on Present

Stakeholder groups report what they are most proud of and most sorry about in the way they are dealing with their current reality in relationship to their possible future. This process helps the entire group to own what they have done and sets up the possibility of constructing a new future together.

Ideal Future Scenarios

Diverse groups are created and instructed to put themselves into the future and describe their preferred future as if it has already been accomplished.  These groups are encouraged to play with possibilities through the use of creative choices they might make to change their organization’s trajectory.

Choosing Common Ground

New diverse groups are formed to identify “common ground” among the most important themes that will be pursued in creating the new future for the organization.  

Confirming Common Ground

The entire group reaches concordance on the new choices, directions, and actions that can and will be taken in collaboration on the new future for the organization.

Action Planning

Groups are formed to take on creating specific action plans for bringing the new organization into being. These groups make public their plans for meeting together, work planning, and sharing their progress.