Oh no - it's a break-out!
You ‘break-out’ into small groups, choose a chair (they usually choose themselves as it’s extroverts love this role), or worse a facilitator (who then dominates the discussion). This takes some time. You are all then asked introduce yourself to the rest of the group. Never ask participants to tell the others what they want to get out of the group, as there will always be one who drones on for hours. By now a good portion of the allocated time has been wasted. And what’s with Foxes Glacier Mints’ obsession?
The topic for discussion is usually some ill-defined, banal question, so the group spend a further ten minutes clarifying what’s expected. The time left is usually far too short to get anything meaningfully debated and agreed. Even then it’s often a random selection of thoughts, rants and personal beefs.
Feedback to group
Feedback to the group consists of a series of disjointed thoughts, often weighted towards the thoughts of the facilitator. These are scribbled up on acres of flipchart pages blue-tacked on the wall, thereby ruining the décor of the room. The problem here is that this is hardly ever distilled into any sensible points for action.
Don’t know about you but the chances of getting this distributed back (by email, posted on the website) is about at best.
You’re generally left feeling short-changed. All of this supposed collaborative effort gets bogged down in procedural stuff and little is ever gained. What a waste of time.