Facilitative Leadership

Global Pragmatica LLC® offers facilitative leadership for any situation with domain expertise in localization, internationalization, and software development project and program management. Global Pragmatica LLC provides pragmatic guidance to help a client-side organization develop and achieve its global vision through sustainable strategies, effective tactics, and committed teams.

Our principals have deep domain expertise in l10n, i18n, g11n, t9n, technical writing, software development, project and program management, and related specialty areas. But what’s unusual about Global Pragmatica LLC is that all its principals are passionate about facilitative leadership. We believe that most of the technical and business problems facing client-side organizations are actually social and organizational problems in disguise, and we have proven to ourselves and others over and over again that smart, strategic planning starts and ends with helping their people have the kinds of conversations that they need.

We also offer pure facilitative leadership for any setting (helping lead a church council meeting, for example!)—not just in the context of localization or software.

It might seem as though we have several fundamentally different business offerings, but we find that there’s a lot more overlap than you might think. Also, working with a variety of groups and settings enriches our creativity for bringing those strengths to business situations. (Oh, who are we kidding? We do it because it’s fun!)

What does a facilitator do?

A facilitator makes things easier.

Most organizations of just about any size have situations where important conversations need to happen but are difficult to hold, such as:

  • project planning
  • collaborative design work
  • usability study sessions
  • project review meetings (“post mortems”)
  • reorganizing or realigning teams
  • year-end review
  • project kickoff
  • executive retreats
  • goal-setting

Even when all team members and leaders mean well, are good at their jobs, respect each other, and want to collaborate, disagreements are inevitable. This is not a bad thing! People see things differently because of their differing skills, experiences, background information, priorities, and countless other reasons. Good teamwork harnesses this diversity of perspective and talents to ensure that the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.

And let’s face it, teams also often have a few “problem individuals” who are valuable but bring disruptive behaviors or disconcerting attitudes to meetings.

We start with a belief in the ability of all groups—even those who are at each other’s throats—to adopt a mindset of mutual learning and shared commitment. We draw on all our technical and facilitative skills to lead groups toward building their own solutions one agreement at a time.

Agreements that teams reach together are agreements that stick. Decisions that teams make together are decisions that team members are committed to realizing.

We believe that even the “problem individuals” are usually valuable team players—there’s probably a reason they’re still around—but for a variety of possible reasons, they have developed behaviors or attitudes that are getting in the way of their own success or their team’s success. We have ways to help these people shift their stances so that they can collaborate effectively without compromising their principles.

What does this mean in practical terms?

It can vary—a lot. Here are examples of how we have helped some of our clients:

Lead conferences

For three years and counting we have been brought in to lead a two-day thought leadership seminar offered by a vendor to its clients and prospects, emceeing the schedule, speaking on localization topics (among many other scheduled presentations), leading group discussions, teaching and demonstrating team-building activities, and generally doing whatever it takes to ensure that the participants meet THEIR goals for a successful conference

Lead planning sessions

We have been brought into a Global Fortune 500 security systems company’s headquarters to facilitate a two-day interdepartmental team’s planning sessions for designing their next website. They were expecting contentious, frustrating meetings and nothing to show for their agony. What they got was unanimous agreement on the key goals, a detailed timeline for the next six months, and new respect for each other.

How would facilitative leadership help our organization?

If you’re curious about how Global Pragmatica LLC might be able to help with your organization—or with your clients whose challenges go beyond what your own business can offer them—please get in touch. A conversation about your situation and our ideas of how we might be able to help is always free.

What does this cost?

Not as much as you’d think. Our daily rate is probably higher than your organization’s middle and lower management daily pay scales, but remember that you’re not furnishing our computers, software, office space, furniture, health care, 401k, profit sharing, vacation, sick leave, holidays, IT support, lighting and heating. You’re only paying for the days we work. You’re not paying for the days we learn, read, experiment, attend conferences, clean out the file cabinets, grieve personal losses, and stay home to take care of sick kids. You pay for our work time and for expenses incurred on your behalf (usually only travel and per diem).

Onsite facilitative leadership work is billed by the full calendar day. If you need less than a full day of facilitation, we recommend thinking about how else we can help you during the rest of the day—perhaps by leading a weekly team meeting, mentoring you or your staff on facilitative leadership, presenting a localization overview, coaching a newer project manager, or helping you with team-building and group development.

In addition to the actual events we facilitate, we spend some time with you doing advance work—making sure we understand the goals, the stakeholders’ interests, potential conflict areas, hidden factors, and so on. We often also do follow-up work, making sure the decisions, agreements, and key discussion points have been captured and disseminated; making sure action items move into action on schedule; and helping resolve questions or disagreements that might arise after the fact. We can usually accomplish most of this work remotely. Remote work is billed by the day or the hour, depending on the nature of the work.

Pro bono services

Global Pragmatica LLC is committed to community service and at its discretion offers its services to non-profit organizations pro bono or at deeply-discounted rates.