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."
planning is more than just a long staff meeting.
process of strategic planning is probably one of the most
powerful tools available to an organization, department or
team. When a group work together to develop a plan they develop
and carry a strong commitment to implementing it away with
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
is a lot written about strategic planning, but much less on
how to ensure your planning session is effective. So here
are some tips to help you maximize the value of your strategic
be successful, a strategic planning session should:
team commitment and establish a shared vision of your preferred
forge agreement on the need for changes
direction, purpose and accountability
and help secure the resources required to implement
your team's energy and enthusiasm, and
everyone is focused on the actions which count.
no doubt that achieving all these outcomes, as well as generating
a sound strategic plan, is more likely with independent, professional
facilitation. A good facilitator brings structure, an impartial
perspective and useful expertise, experience and feedback.
shows that when your planning session is run by a team member
the most likely outcome is more like a long staff meeting,
with all the inherent dangers of entrenched positions, 'group
think' and resistance to change.
experienced facilitator who is expert in the strategic planning
process can guide your group towards a successful outcome
by introducing new approaches and helping participants think
creatively about problems, issues and opportunities.
keeping discussions focused, on track and on time, and by
ensuring all voices are heard, a facilitator can make sure
key decisions are taken in a positive way, making sure your
strategic planning is most effective.
Tips for Effective Strategic Planning
your facilitator as early as you can 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
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.
and empower your facilitator to modify any planned activities
in response to the group dynamic on the day.
might also consider using an external facilitator for other
important meetings such as project debriefs, incident reviews,
evaluations sessions, change implementation programs, employee
forums, community or customer consultations and leadership
© Kerrie Mullins-Gunst
Kerrie Mullins-Gunst is an expert in all the knowledge, skills, attitudes and
behaviours you need to mentor, manage and lead your people, and one of Australia's
leading mentors, planning facilitators and female business speakers. For your
free Top Leadership Tips Workbook and other resources or to listen to her podcast,
visit http://leadershipskillcenter.com or call her on 61-3-9859 3924.
article is copyright, but permission will usually be given
to reproduce it if requested, provided a notice such as that
above is included. Contact
us to request permission.
to other Free Articles