Big companies have to make all their strategic decisions at once during an annual strategic planning session because it is too difficult and costly to get their team together more frequently. Small companies get to take the opposite approach: They tackle strategic choices as they come.
No one likes meetings. But, what if you overcame the fear of meetings and created an environment for a planning session that your employees would actually be excited about? And I think it actually worked.
Plan for the Planning Session Your planning session needs to be planned! Put time on the calendar as far in advance as possible so you can give your clients the heads up and so your team can wrap up their projects in advance.
And set a realistic budget for yourself for transportation, food, and meeting space if applicable. This should not cost your team members anything out-of-pocket.
Then, send an agenda at least a week before the meeting so your team can wrap their heads around what you plan to cover and prepare their ideas. Creativity can be stifled by the confines of a cubicle or desk. I recommend finding an open space outside of the city to tackle your strategic planning.
I also recommend having everyone travel together, if possible. The time you spend getting from your normal environment into a new one provides time for you to get yourself and your team in the mood for brainstorming.
It also gives you some personal time with your team to talk about their lives—not just work. We drove upstate to a coffee shop about an hour away for our morning session and then relocated to an outdoor sculpture garden for the afternoon session.
Keep in mind this is likely going to be the longest part of your meeting, but it is extremely valuable. I could write a whole post about how to structure your State of the Union! Give your team breaks to check their phones, stretch their limbs, and turn off their thinking caps for a moment.
A mid-morning break, plus a lunch break is ideal. Feed the Soul Food fuels the brain! And some people are truly motivated by good food. Find a healthy cafe and let your team order what they want within reason, of course.
Protein, greens, and water will help keep your team sharp and prevent them from going into a food coma for your afternoon session. Drill Down Use the break to take any feedback from the morning session and finalize your afternoon session.
If you have more than that, you probably should stop operations until you figure them out! This might mean breaking your team up into groups that are organized by department, task, or leadership level.
If you have the time, having managers spend time with other managers—in addition to their own teams—is ideal for ultimate collaboration. The final hour of your meeting should be the time for everyone to come back together to discuss the future.
What are your major goals for the next two weeks? Keep your team informed about your ambitions and dreams.
This not only holds you accountablebut it also gives a driving direction for everyone who has invested 40 hours of their lives each week something to look forward to. Finally, set a tentative date for your next planning session and open your doors for personal feedback in the coming weeks in case your team thinks of something after the fact.
Transparency, honesty, responsibility, and accountability are what make a planning session successful. She loves finding efficient ways to get work done, bringing good people together, and enjoying live music.Eleven tips to run a really good creative ideas session With a little effort and planning you can ensure that your creative sessions are truly inspirational.
I’ve run a lot of ideas sessions, some good and, frankly, some not so good. Experience shows that when your strategic planning session is run by a team member the most likely outcome is a long staff meeting, with all the inherent dangers of entrenched positions, 'group think' and resistance to change.
I have seen so many planning sessions get completely derailed when they are held on-site — and people keep coming in a grabbing people for emergencies and phone calls and client issues if you are serious about getting real work done – it needs to be off-site.
Efficiently prepare and run strategic planning sessions that produce real results. Facilitating the actual session: drawing people out, generating ideas and running the sessions efficiently ; Establishing next steps and moving towards the execution phase They are top business practitioners who have been in the trenches-and who bring /5(56).
Avoiding lecture-style education sessions should be a priority, but it does take strategic planning.
One option is to incorporate panels into your learning tracks. One option is . Many companies embark on a strategic planning process, either formerly or informally. Often, many parties in the organization are involved in the process, and the strategic planning session is a traditional occasion which brings the managers together to discuss the issues facing the company.