We facilitate hundreds of meetings each year, but by far our most requested service is strategic planning. And that's also our most common question: how do you facilitate a strategic plan? As my Dad would have said, "Carefully" (he was quite the jokester). And we want to stress this important piece - each client is different and so our process and approach is different. However, there are some underlying principles and processes that we use, and we have some key questions we ask in almost every strategic planning approach. Great facilitation starts with a great process, so don't forget you should be conducting a client kickoff meeting where you can collaboratively define the process, an engagement and outreach to the "community" where you can get important feedback, and the three foundational questions for strategic planning.
While you don't have to start with the Vision, it's often the most inspiring and fun piece of the process. Tip: we love working with graphic recorders during our visioning session - the resulting engagement is amazing!
The questions below are designed to engage, inspire and elicit quality input during the strategic planning meetings. We use specific handouts, send out "pre work" in advance of the meeting, and use visuals and Power Points during the meeting to make sure we are inclusive of learning styles and collaborative in our approach.
Here's a quick list for you to use:
Who are your biggest "competitors"? (Or, who do you want to emulate in your field?)
What do you want to preserve about what you currently have (in the organization, in the community, with the project)?
What trends do you see happening (in your industry, in your community, in the nation) that will positively affect you? Negatively affect you?
Describe your current culture: what does it feel like?
Describe your perfect culture: what does it feel like?
What are the outcomes you want to see? Thinking ahead ____ years, what will change, what will be different? What will you see or feel that is different from today?
What kind of recognition or awards will you receive as a result of all your hard work?
We hope this short list of questions supports your work and inspires you to better facilitation! If you want to find more resources, or take a quick course on facilitating vision, please head over to our online courses at https://sbrand.teachable.com/