MAKING STRATEGY WORKSHOPS SUCCESSFUL
Not all strategy workshops are successful.
Top people gather at an exclusive venue, lots of conversations and networking take place, participants enjoy the break-out sessions ... but often, looking back a year down the road, people discover that the workshop had little impact on how the business is run.
So, what is critical to make sure that the workshop leads to effective decisions?
The discussion needs to be focused on company's most critical issues.
Stakeholders' opinions need to be collected and compared in advance, to make sure that the points where there is alignment are quickly agreed upon and that the discussion focuses on what is needed to find agreement on the aspects where opinions diverge.
A careful preparation is fundamental for the workshop to drive business results. Preparing the meeting ensures 50% chances of success ... the other 50% is given by skilled facilitation.
Experienced facilitators apply productive reasoning techniques to ensure that disagreements turn into effective conversations on how differences in opinions can be overcome through reasoning and data. Clear action items to move forward with the decisions are established and responsibilities are assigned.
At the end of the meeting, the process for ensuring follow-through is agreed upon and documented, so that the workshop ends with clear decisions, action points and an effective plan to drive results.
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TACTICS TO FACILITATE TEAMS' DECISIONS
Agree on a shared and mutually-beneficial outcome
Investigate opinions in advance
Turn issues into choices and alternative options
Acknowledge points where there is common agreement
Align on tests, rationale and data needed to overcome disagreements
Establish responsibilities to follow-through
A CHOICE-DRIVEN APPROACH TO ACCELERATE STRATEGIC DECISIONS
We apply a choice-driven approach to conducting strategy workshops that allows us to be very effective and to compress the timing needed to come up with a sound answer.
We start by clearly formulating the strategic choices available, and the conditions needed for these choices to be strategically sound. We then focus our efforts on collecting and evaluating the needed data to assess these conditions. In this way, we make sure we do not lose time on unnecessary analyses, while collecting all information needed to take the right decision in a highly robust way.
HOW WE HELP
At Edge+ we have decades of experience in strategy workshop facilitation.
We design and facilitate strategy workshops and meetings to help our clients make their most critical strategic choices, and we make sure that team's strategy decisions drive results.
These projects are typically short, with an overall project duration of 3-4 weeks, and are structured in four steps:
1. FRAME CHOICES
- Interview stakeholders
- Define top-priority issues
- Frame strategic choices
2. DESIGN WORKSHOP
- Define critical tests
- Design workshop sessions
- Prepare discussion material
- Distribute preread
3. FACILITATE WORKSHOP
- Facilitate plenary sessions
- Assist in break-out sessions
- Define action points and process to follow-through
4. SUMMARIZE DECISIONS
- Prepare a document that summarizes workshop decisions and agreed next steps