How to Facilitate Organizational Leadership

By Judith Flournoy posted 09-18-2017 10:47


I have been fortunate throughout my career to have been exposed to opportunities for leadership development.  Through my years as an officer for ILTA, a member of the Steering Committee for Women Who Lead and the Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award not to mention the Sharon Swartworth leadership events and having been mentored by some truly fantastic women and men.  As a person in a leadership position I know that not everyone comes to the table with the same leadership skills including communication and consensus building.  To facilitate organizational leadership within my team at Kelley Drye I hold an annual Leadership meeting with the Directors and Managers that I am responsible for.

I started doing this when I returned to Kelley Drye in 2012 as I recognized that some of the fundamentals of interdepartmental communication and cooperation needed a tune-up.

Each year I identify a theme for the day-long meeting to frame the conversation.  Since the first meeting in 2012 each year the Directors and Managers have taken a more active role in the meeting including contributing content, discussion points and objectives.  I attribute this directly to their growth and leadership development.

The PowerPoint deck that I am sharing (attached below) is from the one of these meetings and an example of the framework I use for the annual meeting.

  • Theme – objectives that I want the group to take away.  For example at the Leadership meeting this year 2017, the theme is: Keys to the Future; Vision, Purpose, Resolve and Resolution.
  • Review – what was done in the past year, accomplishments, changes and lessons learned.
  • Section reports – the team contributes to the conversation
  • Group exercise – done in year 3 & 4.  I used the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) exercise to stimulate conversation.
  • Open discussion – a portion of the day is left open to conversation where ideas can flow.

It should be noted that I rely on imagery to convey certain concepts and I use very little “text” on my slides.  This is intentional as my goal isn’t to speak at my team or have them read slides but to enlist them in actively listening and sharing their own perspectives.

Each year I ask the team if they felt the time was well spent and if they would want to meet again the following year.  Each year they have wanted to come back together for this meeting which we hold in our New York office with a group dinner afterwards.

Whatever method you use to build your team, develop your future leaders, and carry out your succession plan, the first question to ask yourself is, if I were them what would I want to know and use that as your guidepost.

All the Best,

Judi Flournoy


1 comment



09-18-2017 14:05

​Thanks for sharing Judy.  I am reminded of how important it is to have the right leadership at the helm.