Planning the summit requires input from a small number of people - in effect a small steering committee or working group. The time commitment required from this group will depend on the size and nature of the summit, but generally a minimum of two planning sessions upwards. We recognise the busy schedules everyone has and we take the lead to ensure that the whole process is as efficient, smooth, and easy as possible.
When would a summit or workshop be useful?
The summits or workshops that we plan and deliver are extremely effective when an organisation wants to review strategy, or undergo change. They bring everyone on board, drawing on the strengths of each person in the group and reaching 100% agreement on what is required to achieve an outcome. By building on the commonalities and experiences within the group, we have found summits to be successful even when bringing together diverse parties with positions which seem diametrically opposed.
How is a summit run?
These are not your standard workshops or talk-fests, but are focused on achieving tangible action and results. Once the initiatives are agreed, we focus on what is required to implement them, and who will contribute to which initiatives. The workshop or summit achieves agreement on the direction and actions, but we also focus on follow-through to ensure the successful implementation of what is agreed.
A summit is tailored to each individual situation. However all summits are based around an Appreciative Inquiry approach, focusing on positive experiences of each participant. Every person gets a say, usually in pairs and small groups, with comments and themes gathered from the entire group. A summit is not dominated by the loudest voice or dominant group, but draws on the ideas of everybody. It is a fun, enjoyable and stimulating experience – one that motivates the entire group. We encourage creative thinking, and facilitate an approach that best stimulates this. We find the best creativity arises when people are in a positive, supportive environment, and our facilitators help create this from the outset.
Who should attend each summit?
Ideally, everyone who has an active interest in the outcome of the summit should attend. We often find that the most successful outcomes are achieved when the “whole of system” is involved. Depending on the organisation or topic, this might not only involve staff but could often include customers, suppliers, and industry organisations. As a general rule, we recommend involving as broad a cross-section of interested parties as possible - but tailoring it to the specific situation.
How big is a typical summit?
The size of a summit depends on the situation. A summit could involve only a handful of people if it is a planning session for a small business unit or very small organisation. On the other hand, an industry-wide summit or a summit for a large organisation might involve hundreds of attendees. Regardless of the size of a summit, every person has a voice and actively contributes throughout the course of the summit. It very much requires active engagement from every participant.
What time commitment is required for the summit?
The duration of the summit can vary from less than a day through to three days. In most circumstances we strongly recommend a minimum of eight hours spread over two days. More time will usually lead to greater engagement and more clearly defined initiatives and action plans.
The summit gives each person a programme of how they can use their skills and strengths to realize the organisation's potential. We will make sure that the whole organisation doesn't just see a vision for the future, but understands the positive and practical steps to achieve it.