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Press junket for a knowledge area. The Executive Panel is a great opening strategy for any new knowledge management initiative. It involves a selection of executives who are experts in one area to form a panel and be asked questions from employees. It shows a commitment and enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with everyone. More importantly it humbles the executives, allows for sharing of stories and will put a friendly face on management.ExecutivePanel

How to host you own Executive Panel

Time: 30-60mins


1 Moderator

2-4 Executives

8 – 20 Audience

Equipment: Open room, chairs

Expenses: Free


  1. Select a discussion topic. It is generally advised to stick to a theme or central question. You could either use a prechosen topic or ask for suggestions of topics beforehand. Note: this should be done well in advance as it might affect your choice of executives.
  2. Select a moderator. The person will move the conversation forward and deal with questions and keep to the time frame.
  3. Select 2 – 4 executives or managers to be a part of the panel.
  4. Either select or allow participants to sign up for the audience. Try to keep the numbers limited to 8-20. Too few, other strategies will be more helpful and to many it might put the executives at a disadvantage.
  5. Find an open space you can use. You want something warm and inviting. A class room setting would be best. Avoid communal areas and larger auditoriums. The idea is to get all of the audience asking questions.
  6. Set the time and the place. Give everyone an itinerary of what will be discussed.
  7. Once everyone is seated, have the moderator begin with a small introduction of the topic.
  8. Have the executives introduce themselves.
  9. The moderator asks the first question. Either present it to the group or pick out an executive to ask.
  10. The moderator should allow the discussion to develop naturally, only stepping in to keep the questions going or to ask an executive who is quite for their answer.
  11. Allow participants to ask questions. It is up to the moderator to choice how many questions are asked.

Here is a small list of discussion topics you can use:

Leadership skills

Client handling

Hardest part of your day

Supplier relationships

Management trends

Going a step further.

  • Deescalate the whole process. Give everyone food and drinks. Ask the executives to take their jackets off. The whole point is an informal look into the executives’ attitudes and mindsets.
  • Be proactive with choosing topics. Hold a survey or voting for the topics. Try and find out what people really want to know.
  • Tailor questions to each executive. For example, ask how a recent problem at work was overcome or how the latest sales figures where reached.
  • Encourage the executives beforehand to give praise to areas and individuals of the company.
  • Don’t make it a speech about how to do things better. Prompt conflicting opinions in strategies.
  • You don’t want it too sound rehearsed.



Tags : ExecutiveExecutive panelknowledgeknowledge managementknowledge sharingmanagementPaneltransfer
Tim Jackson

The author Tim Jackson