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Please think about the most recent Strategic Planning Meeting you attended.

Would the ‘P’ used to describe that meeting be powerful, purposeful, and productive? Or are you more on the side of pointless, painful, and problematic ?

Perhaps the entire painful experience can be captured with this word beginning with ‘’P’ … PowerPoint!

Strategic planning sessions that rely on traditional approaches make it extremely difficult to break out of our existing mindsets.

Our patterns and routines acquired over the course of decades have virtually confined our thinking to ‘the box’, or more precisely, to a more left-hemisphere dominant style of analyzing and processing information. Blending the left and right brain in strategic planning is where the magic happens!

There is a great deal of value in disrupting conventional thought processes, breaking through complacency as a means to thinking differently about any business.

Tapping into the collective right brains of the participants results in insights leading to different strategies, solutions and importantly, dramatic improvements in the bottom line.

There are a few ‘P’s’ I would encourage you to ALWAYS include as you plan your strategic planning meetings.

People Innovation emerges from cross-functional teams composed of employees at all levels, who are empowered and provide a reality check on what is really needed in the organization at the working level.

Play Meetings that include play are incredibly productive. Why? Play is a great way to encourage participation from everyone in the room. When everyone is given equal time to participate in play, it really starts to blur the lines of company hierarchy.

Professional facilitation Outside expertise helps by providing best practices and a structured framework to follow in a logical progression of steps without digression.

Performance measures Instead of just quarterly results, performance data should be both collected and shared systematically and continuously throughout the organization.

Perks Work incentives must be tied to behaviours that are aligned to performance of the strategic objectives/the outcomes of the planning meeting.

Strategic Planning Meetings shouldn’t paralyze and persecute.

Instead, they should pioneer new opportunities and promote partnership, performance, and passion!

Check out this short clip from a recent strategic planning session with Bell Media.

Please spot these unique things:
· No PowerPoint.
· Everyone is fiddling with toys.
· Notes are up on the wall so that everyone can see them … they don’t disappear like a PPT presentation.
· The guests are actively participating in the conversation … no one is checking their phone.


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the letter P