If you’re a business trying to get everybody in a room to hammer out the plan for the next couple of years, a strategy workshop can be a good idea.
It’s no secret that big companies use strategy workshops all the time to delve into essential parts of the business. However, any business can effectively use them. In fact, for small businesses taking time out for strategic thinking can often mean the difference between growth and failure.
Let’s look at what a strategy workshop is and how it can benefit your business.
So, what’s a Strategy Workshop?
A strategy workshop can have slightly different meanings within each business based on what takes place during the workshop.
However, they are generally agreed to be a senior level meeting where critical members of the business meet, discuss and contribute to the company's overall direction.
During the workshop, there will be a lot of deep discussion, challenge, review and planning while the business works out what direction it wants to take for the next few years. It is this planning that helps to ensure success.
What does a Strategy Workshop cover?
A strategy workshop is concerned with ensuring that the business is moving forward and how that will happen.
You’ll find that there is a lot of discussion surrounding the next steps for the business - new product lines, services, and market opportunities will be discussed.
Business owners will often make a three-year plan (or longer) to identify where they want to be in a given period. This plan helps to create a roadmap to follow to ensure the business then meets it's goals.
There’s also discussion about the target audiences for the new products or services and how best to market to them. New customer acquisition is often high up on the agenda for any growth strategy and so forms an important part of the workshop.
How long does a Strategy Workshop take?
The length of a strategy workshop can vary depending on the schedule put forward and the complexity of issues your business faces.
In most cases, you’ll want to put aside a full working day for this type of strategic level workshop. This will give you enough time to discuss all the points on the agenda properly and let everyone voice an opinion.
However, it is possible that a strategy workshop can be shorter. It depends on what you want to cover during the workshop.
For example, many of my clients find that once they have completed their first ever Strategy workshop and set a baseline for their 3 year plan, going forward they can then opt for a mid-year review type Strategy session, scheduling in as a half day approach, which is still very successful in driving momentum.
Focusing on Priorities
Generally, a strategy workshop is an excellent opportunity for the business to focus on essential tasks and opportunities.
When you spend all your time focusing on the company's day-to-day running, you often forget to stop, step back and take a good look at the big picture.
A strategy workshop can also help to re-align the visions of all key players in your team with the main goals of your business.
Who should be invited to a Strategy Workshop?
Strategy workshops will usually have the most senior team present -
Department heads and critical executives will be present because this offers a clear picture of how the business is doing and vital input from each of the core functions. These kinds of workshops can be great for productivity and future planning!
Some businesses will invite majority shareholders to the session, and some will choose to give a formal presentation to shareholders after plans have been made. That’s a personal choice, and down to how you run your business.
Make It Happen In Your Business
A strategy workshop is a powerful asset for creating a roadmap to future success. A proper plan and clear sense of direction helps you make the correct choices on best use and distribution of resources.
It also helps you explore how to seize market opportunities, tackle competitors head on and of course, allocate marketing spend.
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