"Win-Win" is a comfortable clichÞ, not always easily achieved in practice. As "triple bottom lines"—profits, people, the greater operating environment—become more important, more stakeholders need to be accommodated. Finding an acceptable overlap set of wants and needs becomes ever more complex. Moving from an aspirational slogan to concrete reality requires a willingness to define real criteria: the minimum, necessary and sufficient set of requirements
to be satisfied.
We have faced challenges ranging from retaining valued but disgruntled employees, to striking royalty deals that fairly balanced investment and risk with payback to both sides, to guiding a multi-billion-dollar strategy that resolved structural conflicts between internal exploitation and external licensing of key intellectual property. We have worked with public and private for-profit companies, divisions to be bought or sold, academic spin-outs, and nascent and established joint ventures. In each case, breakthrough was achieved by developing trust between sides, identifying common interests, and using the resulting collective creativity to devise new solutions to which all parties could commit. Ultimately, it is a process of transforming
constraint into opportunity.
Another important application of facilitation is in meeting management. We have conducted critical business, technology, legal and regulatory meetings for clients world-wide, in some cases adding specialist expertise, always supporting more effective transactions.
Beyond effectiveness, many organizations struggle with efficiency.
Most professionals spend much of their time in meetings, and many
agree that a great part of this is wasted. In addition to managing
selected critical sessions, we have trained many people in advanced
meeting management and facilitation skills. Some of these have become
professional facilitators, with a major task of helping others learn
and apply these skills. Our general approach here integrates the same
principles of focusing on results, planning
before acting (even in crisis), incorporating others' needs
and values, and managing time and