Strategic Planning Retreats

Yep, it’s that time of year.

Let’s assume that you take your business seriously. That means that you plan well, and thoroughly, for the coming year. Your planning is a serious effort. You develop a “strategic plan” and then spend the coming months executing your plan.

So, if that’s the case, you need two meetings pretty soon. These are not ten-minute meetings. These are “get away in a retreat-like ‘leave-us-alone-while-we-work’ setting, and tackle these issues pretty seriously” meetings.

I have a two-part agenda to recommend.

Part One:  Conduct a thorough “after-action review” of the year coming to a close.
Part Two:  Create a thorough strategic plan and execution plan for the coming year. 

For part one, ask yourself and the team

  1. What did we plan to do?
  2. What did we actually do? (Are we good at execution?)
  3. What went well and why? (So, was this a good plan? And then, assuming we carried out the plan…)
  4. What can be improved and how? (So, what do we need to correct, tweak, change, add?)

After an honest after-action review of the year coming to an end, then you tackle the planning part of the meeting.

For part two, I strongly recommend that you consider the excellent approach recommended by Verne Harnish, author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. He provides plenty of resources, including his one-page strategic plan.

His plan revolves around the “four decisions”:

  1. People: Does your organization have the right people to meet its goals?
  2. Strategy: Do you have a real plan – or is your team just reacting to the marketplace?
  3. Execution: Are you achieving your project milestones and strategic goals?
  4. Cash: Has your payroll increased beyond your planned budget?

This I know… the very act of planning well will help you have a much more productive and profitable year. It really is leadership negligence to skip this step, or to do it poorly. Do it well. It will pay rich dividends.

Randy Mayeux

Contributed by:
Randy Mayeux
Professional Speaker & Writer
Co-founder, First Friday Book Synopsis

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