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Thought Leadership sessions - Lessons from practice


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The design of a Thought Leadership sessions is closer to a form of art than to a science. Yet a few principles can be established for a successful meeting. This presentation offers some thought provoking questions that can assist you better plan and design a Thought Leadership event format.

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Thought Leadership sessions - Lessons from practice

  1. 1. Thought Leadership sessions Lessons learned through practice Paul Nunesdea | CEO groupVision | Optimizing group collaboration
  2. 2. Presentation summary • Before you start • Thinking about the right Thought Leaders • Establishing expectations • The devil is in the details, prepare to work hard! • Flawless execution • The rewards
  3. 3. Before you start! What do you want to accomplish with a Thought Leadership session?
  4. 4. Ask 3 fundamental questions ... • What are you going to do and what do you really want to accomplish? • Why are you going to do it and what makes you think you are the right person/organisation to do it? • How are you going to do it and when?
  5. 5. Answer the 3 fundamental questions • First on your own and write down your thoughts. • Then with your team and ask them to do the same. • Then compare notes and find a common answer to these 3 questions. This exercisewould deliver the core of your team's vision andis a very important step to ensure your success.
  6. 6. Thinking about the Thought Leaders Why are they so important for your session?
  7. 7. Ask the following questions • What are the relevant key stakeholders in the field of content you are running the session about? Identify a closed list. • Why would they bother to contribute to your proposed theme? Would they be available to travel to your venue? Why? You have to be and stay relevant. • Would the Thought Leader Session still be valid if anyone of them would not show up? Why? The real value is the peers’ group where all contributions should be equally important.
  8. 8. Establish the expectations rightly The art of convening starts at the heart of the matter and ends with commitment to action.
  9. 9. To convene is an art and you need to master it • Knowing yourself as host or convener allows you to be in authentic engagement. How well do you know yourself to hold space for others? • Who are you as a human being and how will you be in relationship with others? • What is the purpose of our gathering and what does success looks like? • Convening is the art of relationship, what are your intentions? Are they in line with who you are?
  10. 10. Convening a Thought Leaders session Being a host or facilitator in a Thought Leadership session is a rewarding task that prepares you for the unexpected.
  11. 11. Session design • Once yourself and your intentions are clear it is important to manage the right expectations with the others you invite: • The sponsors of the gathering: what can they expect and what do you expect of them? • The participants (Thought Leaders): what can they expect and what do you hope from them? • You need to design the session with all of them in mind.
  12. 12. Hosting check list • Extend a sincere invitation with genuine hospitality and conviction, explain why should participants come. • Communicate clearly the form, function and purpose of the gathering so participants have all the information about the event’s context to fully participate. • Create a relaxed and attractive space for the gathering and establish the right meeting protocol for participants to feel safe and fully present. • Run the session and enjoy the surprises
  13. 13. Something new Flawless execution is always the result of a well prepared session and participants bless us with the creation of something new.
  14. 14. Authentic engagement always pays off • How will you recognise and harvest the wisdom being created in a Though Leaders group? • The emergence of something that did not existed before is at the core of any innovation and normally results from participants' meaningful contributions. • What combination of methods should you use to keep everyone engaged as creation happens? • Brainstorm, take turns, list, categorise, evaluate and synthesise. • What to do in the absence of alignment? • Treat every surprise with neutrality and let the group handle it.
  15. 15. Harvest the results The combination of process technology and meeting productivity software is a must.
  16. 16. Shared visions are by default a driving force • Yet we need to have process tools and techniques that make the harvesting of the wisdom of the group really effective. • Dialogue is the natural result of a well hosted meeting whenever the welcoming and the protocols (rules for participation and interaction) are well established upfront. • But the implicit experiential learning that emerges cannot be captured without a conscious effort to make it explicit in writing. • If you need to present a Thought Leadership report then a 'journaling' method is required.
  17. 17. Rate Generate Session Reports instantly with only a couple of clicks.. 6 Move content to Rating Tool. Rate outcomes by single or Multiple criteria. 4 Move content of Brainstorm to Discussion for more in-depth collaboration. 3Kick off the meeting with a presentation. Utilize the Presentation Tool – or use your Web Conference tool of choice. 1 Meeting productivity software is required for a flawless execution Assign responsibility for follow-up actions with Action Tracker. 5
  18. 18. Reporting There are many options for generation of a Thought Leaders session report, my favorite is a combination of the following: • Have a journalist or graphics recorder in the room to capture in writing or in graphics the bulk of the discussion. • Have the participants to write down their thinking with a meeting productivity software that they can use with anonymous inputs. MeetingSphere™ can be of great assistance here. • Present the anonymous results to the group for further verbal discussion that is captured by the journalist or graphics recorder.
  19. 19. In conclusion • The benefit and value created by a group of Thought Leaders convened together in a purposeful way is immense. • The conclusions produced can be edited, further commented by the remainder of the community and crowdsourced for more contributions. • Most professional associations can take advantage of this meeting format but it is important that they rely on an external consultant that brings expert knowledge in the art of convening a group, normally a group facilitator.
  20. 20. Paul Nunesdea CEO groupVision | Optimising group collaboration
  21. 21. About the author • Paul Nunesdea is the English author name of Paulo Manuel Coimbra Nunes de Abreu an organizational psychologist, MSc in Information Management and PhD in Management Science. • Paul has conducted research work and external consultancy in a varied number of organizations including National and Regional Governments. • In 2003 he started the "Forum Hospital do Futuro" a not for profit initiative that convened a national Think Thank in Portugal and several Thought Leaders sessions. • Since 2011 convenes the Iberian Healthcare Forum that gathers Regional decision makers in healthcare in a yearly Summit.