Make Your Strategy Sessions More Engaging

Strategy should be exciting, challenging, and stimulating.  It should elicit the very best thinking of your key people, get the creative juices flowing, build enthusiasm, and get them on the same page.  Here are some ideas I’ve used to build excitement and involvement:

  1. Plan to plan.  Build anticipation with a series of key questions and provocative readings.  What is happening in our industry and why?  Where’s it going next?  What should we be doing three years from now that is very different from what we’re doing now?
  2. Be clear about expectations.  Create a high bar for what is expected from planning participants. Simply attending and listening ain’t enough — you want ideas and passion from each and every person.
  3. Plan a fast-paced, focused, and practical agenda.  Go at the speed of your best people — not the speed of the slowest.  Set the pace and run fast.  You’ll be surprised how everyone wakes up.
  4. Use assignments, exercises, and techniques to get the group working together to formulate the strategy, assess the implementation necessary, and plan the execution.  They’ll have to work together to create the strategy, so get them to create it and commit to it together.  Stop the piecemeal approach where each one takes their part of the plan and works on it independently.
  5. Get involvement from people deeper in the organization.  Bring in some hot-shots, some innovators, and thought challengers.  It’s a great way to add new blood and provide excellent development.

For more ideas on injecting greater enthusiasm, key thinking, and creativity into your planning, give me a call.  I’d love to hear what you’re doing and give you fresh ideas.

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