Taking the time to effectively plan for that discussion will be critical in meeting the objectives of your discussion.

Depending on the size of your organization, a successful strategy discussion will include finding a day and time when the leadership team can attend and preparing and distributing the strategy discussion materials well in advance of the meeting.

Your strategy is too important for a random meeting without preparation or a defined purpose.

I usually include the following in a pre-discussion package along with some instructions encouraging them to review, and reflect upon, the materials prior to the meeting.

  1. An agenda of the strategy discussion - that will include details on participants, an introduction by the leader of the organization, a review of how the meeting will unfold and the objectives for the session.
  2. The existing strategic plan - this is the plan that is currently being used to drive the organization closer to the vision. This plan will be the foundation for the discussions moving forward so everyone needs to be familiar with the existing plan. Questions that can be considered while reviewing the plan include:
    • What is the current status of the plan?
    • Have we been able to effectively deliver what was identified as part of this plan? If Yes, great. If No, why not?
    • Are the key strategy elements still valid - vision, mission and guiding principles?
    • What about the strategic goals? Are the goals still applicable or will the organization need to identify new goals?
    • Keep in mind that a review of the existing strategy, with a focus on progress, challenges, lessons learned and any significant changes to the organization, industry or cultural environment will be essential in the development of anew, relevant, strategy for the organization.
  3. Other ideas to think about in anticipation of the strategy discussion. Such as:
    • Has the organization identified any emerging strategies due to the pandemic and if those newly identified strategies or goals should be included in the new strategy plan?
    • Does the organization have the resources to support a new strategic plan? Will there be a Strategy Coordinator or a point person for “all things strategy”? Is the leadership team committed to developing and implementing a new strategic plan? How will the organization be engaging the employees in the development of the new strategic plan?

     The goal is to provide the information that the participants need, in advance, to help these discussions be meaningful and productive.