Over the past year the team at X5 Management has facilitated many strategic planning sessions for organizations and companies looking to reflect on the previous year, share information with their teams and plan for the upcoming quarter and year. Several themes exist for these sessions including strategic growth planning, team goal setting, succession planning and leadership or communication management.
One of the key items in planning for these meetings is first understanding what a companies expectations are for their planning session. A consistent challenge is that organizations rarely take the time to collaborate, get input from all organization members and share important information amongst their teams. Strategic planning should represent an opportunity to discuss current issues, reflect on successes and challenges as well as ensure your team is well informed moving forward. Get your organizations next planning session started using a few quick tips.
Go off-site: An off-site planning session will allow your team an opportunity to avoid workplace distractions and spend quality, focused time together. Pick a location that participants will feel excited about.
Stick to key themes: There are always many challenges and key areas to discuss during any planning meeting. Depending on your timeframe, pick 2 or 3 key areas to focus on and stick to the time allocated in the agenda.
Get Input from everyone: It is easy to spend the majority of the time presenting information during a strategic planning session. However, making time to get team-members input is equally as important. Carve time for questions after any presentations and make sessions interactive.
Break the silence with breakout sessions: Small group discussions and activities will allow everyone in attendance to be involved. Have activities start with small group discussions, where group highlights are brought to the attention of all participants upon completion of the activity.
Narrow your priority list: Action items are a significant final step to any strategic planning session. However if this list is too daunting, many items may fail to materialize. Select your critical few items and set timelines for execution.