Taking your management team out of the day to day business for a strategic planning session is somewhat expensive … but absolutely necessary. If you are NOT doing this, then here are 10 reasons why you need to start having strategy sessions on a regular basis:
1. When you are in the throes of the daily “grind” you are dealing with tactical details … you need time away to look at the business from 30,00 feet and think strategically.
2. If you get a few people together (your management team, investors, partners) you will get the power of many minds addressing your business problems.
3. You get to REALLY look at the strengths of your company ..and your weaknesses… and develop strategies to address them!
4. You get to discuss potential opportunities that you might not see while focused on the tactical issues day in day out.
5. You can identify threats… internal and external, that you might not see coming if you didn’t look at the business from a higher level.
6. Getting your management team together like this is a great training opportunity for them.
7. You get to reinforce the company culture with the company’s leaders.
8. You can bring in external ‘experts” occasionally, to give different perspectives on your business.
9. You can develop a framework of tasks that you can execute on when back in tactical mode … moving towards a goal instead of just reacting to daily pressures.
10. Just one BIG idea from these sessions can transform a company, but even without the big idea you deal with the many issues that don’t get addressed otherwise!
Some thoughts and recommendations:
These meetings should happen NOT less than once a year, and depending upon your business you may want to have them more often. My company has these sessions quarterly.
They don’t need to be in an expensive location! You will be in a meeting room all day, and possibly a restaurant/bar in the evening … those places look the same in your local city as they do in some exotic location!
You should have a clear agenda and expected outcomes.
You should NOT do the same thing every time … mix it up, focus on different areas of the business.
If you are not used to running these sessions get someone to run the first one for you.
Recognise that good ideas can come from any participant so foster an environment where input is welcomed … even if the boss has different ideas!
Make sure you finish with action items, assigned to individuals … reinforced by meeting minutes sent out after the meeting. (Have a way to track those action items).