Effective Strategic Planning

2645589939 4d757c06ab m Effective Strategic PlanningStrategic planning is more than just a long staff meeting.

The process of strategic planning is probably one of the most powerful tools available to an organisation, department or team. When a group work together to develop a plan they carry a strong commitment to implementing it away with them.

Yet too many people have had poor experiences with strategic planning sessions which fail to reach decisions, or where communication problems, dominant personalities and internal politics prevent constructive interaction.

There is a lot written about strategic planning, but much less on how to ensure your strategic planning session is effective.

What makes Strategic Planning Effective?

A successful and effective strategic planning session needs to:

  • build team commitment and establish a shared vision of your preferred future
  • forge agreement on the need for changes
  • provide direction, purpose and accountability
  • identify the resources required
  • renew your team’s energy and enthusiasm, and
  • ensure everyone is focused on the actions which count.

Achieving all these outcomes, as well as generating a sound strategic plan, is more likely with independent, professional facilitation. A good strategic planning facilitator brings structure, an impartial perspective and useful expertise, experience and feedback.

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.

An experienced facilitator who is expert in the strategic planning process can guide your group to a successful outcome by introducing new approaches and helping participants think creatively about problems, issues and opportunities.

By keeping discussions focused, on track and on time, and ensuring all voices are heard, key decisions are taken in a positive way, making sure your strategic planning is most effective.

Special Offer

If you are uncertain whether to use an external facilitator for your meeting, or you need to convince someone else to use one, have a look at our Free Fact Sheet ‘Why Use a Facilitator?’

(More ideas on how you can facilitate effective strategic planning in the Quick Tips below.)

Strategic Planning Quote of Note

“A corporation without a strategy is like an airplane weaving through stormy skies, hurled up and down, slammed by the wind, lost in the thunderheads. If lightning or crushing winds don’t destroy it, it will simply run out of gas.”

Alvin Toffler

Strategic Planning Facilitation Quick Tips

Involve your facilitator in designing your planning session. Their experience with many other groups offers valuable insight and new perspectives into what will be most effective in achieving your goals for the planning process.

A competent and experienced facilitator will have the flexibility, skills and ability to guide your group to its ultimate objective via a range of different paths. Encourage and empower your facilitator to modify planned activities in response to the group dynamic on the day.

Consider using an external strategic planning facilitator for other important meetings such as project debriefs, incident reviews, evaluations sessions, change implementation programs, employee forums, community or customer consultations and leadership programs.

And Call us on 03-9859 3924 to discuss how we can help make your next strategic planning workshop your most effective yet!

Ideas anyone?

Strategic Planning

Good group leadership depends on good group facilitation. Throughout our site we feature information, tips and articles based around one of the central business leadership tasks in any organisation: group facilitation of Strategic Planning and how becoming or using a better workshop facilitator can help you.

Strategic Planning Resources

To assist you we have organised these strategic planning resources into a number of core ideas, including:

Group Facilitation

When it’s done well, group facilitation looks simple, although it isn’t always as easy to be a good workshop facilitator as it looks. Group facilitating takes skill and experience and it’s almost impossible to do if you also need to participate in the process as well as facilitate the group. This section offers tips on how to facilitate meetings for best results, as well as the value professional facilitators can add and group dynamics issues you must be conscious of in your group leadership role.

More details on group leadership and group facilitation

Team Building Ideas

I know some leaders and managers shudder at the thought of taking on responsibility for team bonding and group exercises, but if your team is in need of corporate team building activities, you will be acutely aware that your team is not performing to the standard you would wish. In this section we evaluate a number of team building ideas to help you create the team spirit that generates real results.

More details on team building ideas

Effective Meetings

For meeting planning to be effective, meetings need to promote group decision making and this doesn’t usually happen by chance. For important team meetings, for example where your objective is strategic planning that guides your future growth, an effective meeting may require business strategy consulting with the assistance of a professional meeting facilitator. An effective business strategy consultant will also be able to assist you with your business strategy implementation so it makes sense to ensure your meeting facilitator has the appropriate strategic planning skills and qualifications.

In this section we investigate the sort of group task that will benefit from an external facilitator or the facilitation skills you will need to have in-house to achieve the same results. We will also share a number of meeting tips that will help you achieve your work goals.

More details on effective meetings

While we will also explore many other aspects of strategic planning, including leadership styles, and look closely at your business management, web marketing and other marketing ideas and more, this is just meant to be a quick introduction to some of the central strategic planning resources you will find here.

What about you? What do you think?

Facilitator quick tips

128710 simple red square icon business thumbs up 150x150 Facilitator quick tipsWhen you are using a professional facilitator, involve your facilitator in designing your strategic planning session. Their experience with many other groups offers valuable insight and new perspectives into what will be most effective in achieving your goals for the planning process.

A competent and experienced meeting facilitator will have the flexibility, skills and ability to guide your group to its ultimate objective via a range of different paths. Encourage and empower your facilitator to modify planned activities in response to the group dynamic on the day.

Using a Facilitator

Consider using an independent external facilitator for a range of important meetings, including:

  • project debriefs
  • incident reviews
  • evaluations sessions
  • change implementation programs
  • employee forums
  • community or customer consultations
  • teambuilding workshops, and
  • leadership programs.

 

Quote of Note

“A corporation without a strategy is like an airplane weaving through stormy skies, hurled up and down, slammed by the wind, lost in the thunderheads. If lightning or crushing winds don’t destroy it, it will simply run out of gas.”

Alvin Toffler

 

(Download more ideas for using a facilitator in the Facilitation Fact Sheet)

What about you? What do you think?