Monday, May 14, 2012

Strategic Planning that works

The MCI team has just returned from our incredibly successful team strategic planning event at Fraser Island.  It got me thinking about the ingredients that ensured that this event was so successful and why such positive ideas were generated, most of which are practical and can be implemented almost immediately - or at least within 3 - 6 months.

The recipe for strategic planning success:

1. Involve everyone. I am always amazed at how much some team members know and think about, even in areas that are not generally their field of expertise.
2. Fun activities are essential.  Play has often been shown to be a key factor in generating creative thinking and innovative solutions so don't be afraid to engage hands-on, minds-on thinking with games and different    physical activities.
3. Start by setting out the cold, hard facts.  This is very much Jim Collins-type thinking and it does set the parameters of the discussion.  There are factors in our environment that are beyond our sphere of influence or control and these have to be laid out clearly at the outset.
4. Set the ground rule:  no-one in the room can use the phrase "Yes, But.."  Everyone focuses on YES AND thinking.  This means that no ideas are bad and even within unworkable ideas, there are grains of thinking that could be transformed in to positive, workable ideas.  When team members are working in an environment where no ideas are laughed down, the amount of ideas generated is greater.  And the quantity at that stage is important if you are looking for anything of quality to emerge.
5. Set up a theme and preferably something that is competitive.  There is nothing that generates more ideas than a spirit of competition....
6. A great venue away from the office and phones and email is also a good idea if possible.
7. Establish clear goals about the reason for the planning session so that there is some form of urgency to the conversation.  Demonstrate how these ideas will make the difference to profitability or other success factors.
8. Make sure that you follow up.  We have already drafted our action plan and it has been circulated for comments and finalisation.

Please like our facebook page to see more photos from the event.

Let MCI help you ensure that your strategic planning event does not feel like a waste of time.  Make it a  worthwhile session that leads to real results!

No comments: