There are many benefits of strategic leadership planning. There is increased communication, heighten innovation of new ideas, higher quality of work performance, increased job satisfaction, and team productivity. These are just a few of the benefits when a group of leaders commits to masterminding in the effort to create a better, more productive, synergistic organization. Here are some tips on how to facilitate strategic leadership planning correctly.
Number one, when you’re doing strategic leadership planning, it’s pretty obvious, however, I’ll say it anyways, get the right people in the room. Now, if you are the actual top leader of the organization, everyone that reports to you needs to be in that room that day. With this, you will now have the right group of leaders to collaborate and share ideas, and thoughts, so you can mastermind together to come up with the right solutions and processes to grow.
Number two, start prior to that day. Anytime I do a strategic leadership or executive planning day, I send assessments, usually about a week to a week and a half prior to the planning day. This way, the group can take the assessment, review them, and get their heads wrapped around some of the questions that they may have for that day. Utilizing behavioral assessments is vitally important as we need to understand how we show up, and how we relate and communicate with others. You’ll find that the unconscious lack of the proper understanding of your behavior as well as your communication within an organization is usually the first component of things breaking down. This understanding of your behavior becomes a very valuable piece of the equation for the group to get the most value from the day.
Number three, no distractions. Now, some of you might be fortunate to have a room in your organization where when you’re planning and the door’s shut, everybody knows not to disturb. If you don’t have that facility, find a facility offsite so you can be totally undistracted from whatever may be happening within the organization. In addition to that, as soon as you start that strategic planning, everybody’s phones are off, silent, and away from them. You have to have zero distractions. You need to be all in and be present in the process of planning with your team.
Next point, break it up into two parts. One part is strategic thinking. One part is strategic planning. We facilitate strategic thinking first, where we challenge ourselves to think of solutions, and ideas, and talk about some of the challenges we’re experiencing, which forces us to think deeper and come up with ideas. And only then will you be able to have the solutions when you start your planning. Break them up. Do the thinking first, break for lunch, then do the planning second.
Last and most important, have a facilitator come in. Have a professional outside of your organization facilitate the entire day. That professional will guide you through the entire process, will ask you questions, challenge you and help you think everything through.
Once a quarter, a colleague and I facilitate 90-day planning, of which the morning is all education and the afternoon is all planning. In the morning, we’re stretching their brains, where they’re challenging themselves, brainstorming, thinking of ideas, and in the afternoon, we’re guiding them through transferring all those ideas, strategies, and solutions to a plan, to articulate exactly what action steps need to be taken.
Myself, I go onsite into organizations to facilitate this entire process. If you’re thinking about doing strategic planning, executive planning, or leadership planning, whatever it may be, the last point I’m going to give you, is don’t procrastinate. If you’re a leader of an organization and you are thinking of doing something of that sort, you’re thinking about it for a very good reason, because it makes sense and will add value. With that, take action, and find the right person to come and facilitate it. Pick a date and get it done. It will pay for itself. Because when the entire team gets aligned, is on the same page, comes up with the solutions as a team, and is guided through the process, that is valuable and a very wise investment of your time.
COACH MICHAEL DILL is an Award-Winning Certified Business Coach, global speaker, and published author. He is a proud Action Coach Franchise partner as well as the President of Power & Ice Wealth Creation a strategic leadership company that works with business owners, leaders, teams, and entrepreneurs to both develop a systematized and structured organization while accelerating their mindset, efficiencies, and effectiveness to grow both personally and professionally to achieve extraordinary results. He brings more than 40 years of business and entrepreneurial experience in his leadership, team training, and mentoring practice. Businesscoachmichaeldill.com