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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Questions to Address In Planning Retreats

In this Strategy+Business article, "Sharpening Your Business Acumen," the authors offer a six-step guide for incorporating external and internal trends into your strategy planning retreats.

They suggest the high-level questions to address include:

  1. What is happening in the world today?
  2. What does it mean for others?
  3. What does it mean for us?
  4. What would have to happen first (for the results we want to occur)?
  5. What do we have to do to play a role?
  6. What do we do next?
BOTTOMLINE: In Six Disciplines for Excellence, Discipline VI. Step Back, includes Step VI-A, Review Externals. It is one of the key steps used as input to updating your organization's mission, vision, values and strategic position.

All Six Disciplines clients go through this exercise as part of an initial planning retreat. Here are some client observations about the Six Disciplines unique approach to planning retreats:

"Retreats have generally been very frustrating in order to really come to consensus and agreement. Other times we’ve gone through this process even with board members and others, you come out trying to get a mission statement crafted or whatever and it is a year-long process. However, with Six Disciplines, we got more done in those three days than in any planning retreat I’ve ever been involved in." (Patrick Fitzgerald, WBGU)

"Before we went into this, we were lacking things like goal-setting and strategic planning...the retreat helped us to come together with some real ideas cross-departmentally of what we need to be working on. (Karl Hemminger, Findlay Publishing)

"When we went through the retreat process and brought our Six Disciplines plan back and shared it with our board, there was absolute unanimous support around that table: “You guys have done a great thing here." (Doug Peters, GreaterFindlay, Inc.)

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