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5 tips for your strategic planning workshop

A strategic planning day or workshop is important to set the tone for the year ahead for your business and create a unified team with clear objectives to focus on.

Our Managing Director Dwain Richardson recently explored in his blog how fun can take your planning sessions to another level.

Now I would like to present five tips to create an engaging and inspiring agenda for your strategic planning workshop.

It can be easy for companies to focus on a desired outcome for these sessions yet sometimes the delivery of the event to achieve these outcomes isn’t prioritised. 

So creating an engaging strategic planning event that inspires your team, keeps everyone focused and attentive, and gets the creative juices flowing, will achieve far greater results than simply organising a meeting.

How can we do that? Here are our five tips.

1. Take advantage of technology available to you

It is no secret that technology has become a significant and often unavoidable part of our work lives, and we have come a long way from the traditional power point presentation!

However there are some simple ways you can incorporate some other technology to create a more interactive and impressive event.

By adding elements such as live polling and social media, you can keep your audience engaged and interested in the topic. It adds some variety and fun and gives you other way to attain feedback and interaction from your team.

2. Add a guest speaker

It can get a bit boring for everyone listening to the same people deliver the same messages session after session. Why not break it up and inspire alternate thinking with a guest speaker?

Not only will it be a fresh face and voice with new and interesting content, but they can also provide a different and potentially fun way of delivering your message. 

Make sure you choose a guest speaker that is aligned with your corporate values, is an expert in a topic within your planning day and is highly engaging. 

3. Use additional reading material

While most staff may not like the idea of ‘homework’, introducing a book or other reading materials prior to the event can be an excellent way to get delegates thinking and preparing, as well as put everyone on the same page.

Make sure that the chosen text is relevant and inspiring, so your team will take the time to read and absorb it.

And a simple one, distribute the preparation materials early enough for everyone to read it and commence their own individual planning.

4. Incorporate an engaging activity

There is nothing worse than sitting in a room and doing nothing but listening to people talk all day.  It can be very draining and you may not get the best out of your team when constructing your strategic plan.

By incorporating a fun and engaging activity to break up the day (either one big one or multiple little ones) and get people active, it will keep them present and focused for all of your sessions.

Take advantage of your location when incorporating these activities. For example, if you are at the beach, a morning walk or an outdoor team building activity on the sand could be ideal.

5. Don’t forget personal development

Strong teams start with strong individuals! We all know that if you look after your team, your team will look after you.

By adding personal development to your strategic planning event, it can create an excellent way to make the individuals more aware of their personal strengths and how that can impact the corporate strategic plan.

It can also help in creating the right team for delivering a specific part of your strategic plan.

Personal development also shows that you are investing in your team to be the best they can be – maximising their strengths and improving their weaknesses.

So by simply leveraging technology, adding a guest speaker, providing pre-reading materials, including a fun team activity and incorporating personal development, you will be creating an engaging and inspiring strategic planning day.

Rachael Ziccone is Conference & Events Manager for Corporate Challenge Events