strategic planning process at its heart is
a series of meetings.
To design effective strategy conversations at these
meetings you must get a number of critical details right:
A compelling 'Why': list and
benefits of a sound strategic plan.
real conversations take place not in large groups but in small gatherings of
no more than ten. Limit attendees to the principal strategic
decision makers. If more executives wish to take part in strategy reviews,
keep them involved through other forums.
Allocate sufficient time: in-depth discussions of strategy take time
– some executives spend about a third of their time on
Select venue: could be the site of the business unit so
CEO could get
a better feeling of what is going on there; could also be organize off-site
to ensure uninterrupted concentration of the participants on the
Clearly demarcate strategy reviews and financial planning meetings:
avoid combining strategy-planning with discussions of budgets and financial
targets as otherwise short-term financial issues will dominate at the
expense of long-term strategic ones. Hold a full-day meeting on strategy
and a shorter meeting to set financial targets at a different time of year.
Do it yourself: the strategy must be made by those people who will
carry it out; you can involve consultants and your staff in strategy
development, but you cannot
outsource strategy making to them.
Don't use templates: provide some guidance regarding strategy
development, but give your business units plenty of latitude. Using
templates may obscure more than it reveals. Besides, excessive corporate
guidance makes it hard to tell the real strategies from those who are merely
good at filling out templates.