How to Prepare, Run, and Coach an Annual Strategy Day

Great Strategy Days for small business have long been a passion of mine – done well, they start your year with focus and momentum and pay enormous dividends.

Of course, most businesses do them poorly (as I wrote about in 2015) – or almost as bad, not at all, preferring to leave strategy and engagement to the confines of the business owner’s mind rather than risk saying the wrong thing.

This post isn’t designed to rehash my sentiments – but with 2019 fast approaching, I felt it would be useful for business owners to have a lot of these practical resources in one place.

You absolutely can run a Strategy Day for your team on your own. You absolutely will achieve a greater return on investment if you involve an experienced facilitator or business coach – that’s why I have the pleasure and privilege each January of running incredible strategy days (and half days) for many organisations. Wherever you are in the world, reach out – I probably know exactly the right person to help you turn these concepts into memorable reality.

How to Run a Great Business Strategy Day

If, like me, you like a good written Guide to Running a Great Strategy Day then this article here outlines the 6 Steps to making it happen.

You can watch the same explanation on this video, from my web series Blackboard Fridays.

While those talk about Strategy Days in general – which you may run at any time of the year, or even MULTIPLE times each year to keep your team aligned and on track, I’ve also created a specific Agenda for your Annual Strategy Day at the start of the year (usually January, although I know businesses that run this in July for the new financial year, or in March after Chinese New Year). You can download that agenda here.

Need a Commercial Boost this Year?

For most privately-owned, small and medium businesses, strategy is fairly synonymous with commercial growth. Ignoring the fact that growth is the most dangerous word in business, if this is for you then I recommend starting with a framework like this that helps you understand and set your Commercial Vision.

Converting Vision to Strategy needs a good – but brief, please – business plan. Naturally, I have the most colourful business plan in the world for you to use.

Designing and Implementing Culture

It’s been said that Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast. I don’t agree with that as a universal rule, though I completely agree with the sentiment that Culture is too often overlooked when preparing your team.

If you’d like to run a whole session (or day! or retreat!) around Culture, this is the framework I use and recommend.

You may also like to learn more about the power of a practical culture in your business. Check out:

Bringing it Together

As you can see, for those of us who do this for a living there’s a lot more to a great business strategy day than the venue, the golf, and the drinks afterwards (though all are important). Preparing a targeted agenda that can meet your team where they are today, and begin the journey to where you as the leader want to take them, means bringing together a lot of moving parts.

As always, if you want to know more or feel that I (or any of my international network) can support you, then let’s chat!

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