Is your organisation ready for next 5 years? Call on the wisdom of your team to create a plan that is innovative and visionary but also completely practical, open-eyed, and realistic. The group will leave your planning event with a new sense of direction and purpose and a strong feeling of commitment to the plan that they helped to build.
I can support your group with a planning process built to suit you, usually including between one and five days of interactive and participatory workshops directly with you and your team. A typical two-day planning event is likely to include:
Grounding Workshop – What has brought us to where we are today? We will focus on getting everyone up to speed with the current situation, understanding how we got to where we are and working together to build a timeline of events on the wall. Everyone is able to contribute and this section works particularly well for expanding the sense of ownership of the plan from a few people to the whole group and for analysing the factors that are driving the current need for a new plan.
The Practical Vision workshop – we will work together to answer a question like “What is it that we want to see in place in three years’ time as a result of our actions?” ending with a final short list of important answers to the question agreed by consensus.
The Current Reality workshop – This allows us to look objectively at the various blocks and barriers that stand between the group as it is now and the idealistic vision we agreed in the workshop before. This isn’t a detailed examination of everything that could go wrong (that would be horrible!). Instead we can think of this as mapping the territory we will have to travel through before we start our journey toward the vision.
The Strategic Directions – during this section we use both the visionary thinking of the vision workshop and the practical realities highlighted in the current reality workshop to choose 2-5 high-level strategic directions, which will move us toward our vision while dealing realistically with the current reality. We will build consensus around these headline statements, and they will be a major expression of the values and intent of the group going forward.
Implementation Planning – We will take the newly created strategic directions and apply them to the immediate planning for the future, creating a first-year action plan with particular focus on what practical tasks need to be done in the first 90 days. This is where the “rubber hits the road” and the focus is on taking the more abstract strategic directions and turning them into practical action, starting today. In shorter meetings this process will provide an outline plan agreed by the group to be fleshed out later by the appropriate experts inside your organisation. Longer and more thorough planning processes can include more detailed project and action planning for individual elements of the new plan.
You and your team will leave the meeting with a new direction and a new sense of ownership and commitment to the plan.