Whenever you are running a business strategy workshop, no matter if you do that yourselves or ask someone in to help, determine which of these four perspectives you are wanting to achieve in the session(s) and focus on that.
Are you wanting to settle something?
You may have been discussing different growth options, making bets on certain trends or considering venturing into an adjacent market? Does your strategy event need to bring you all to a conclusion, so you can get on with doing it?
It’s a bit like choosing either to hike to the top of Mountain A or Mountain B – which is it?
This one is all about decisions
Are you wanting to set-out in a new direction?
But unlike ‘settle’ above you aren’t exactly sure of the destination options yet, it’s too early.
In fact, in this type of business strategy session you want to develop new opportunities, new alternatives. Perhaps you feel like your current market is changing fast and you want to make sure you keep up? Or you feel you need more innovation and disruption elements in your strategy? You may want new alternatives such as building a new service offering if you are a product company or a new product if you are a service company. You may want to explore new business models that are less asset intensive or even create a new marketplace.
It’s a bit like knowing you want to hike North to warmer climates but not sure where you’ll end up.
This one is all about exploring a new direction
Do you need to set-about building a new capability in your organisation?
Perhaps you want your teams to be better at innovation, change management or customer engagement. So, your strategy workshop is about how you will start out or accelerate to build this new powerhouse capability.
It’s a bit like knowing you need to get fit for something or be better at navigation, so it matters less about where you hike, just that you do.
This one is all about your business’s development
Do you want your ‘strategy retreat’ to design and set-up a new initiative?
You may be launching a new structure, a new process, a new methodology, a new technology or a new business model. At this workshop you’ll want to determine your path, the steps involved and who is involved. The processes and resources you decide upon here will be laid out in your strategy document.
It’s a bit like charting a course on your map and working out who is in the hiking expedition. Then you plan your milestones, River A by June, entry to Forest B by August, resupply in September by the Blue Lake.
This one is all about the delineation of your course
These all describe whether you are after ideas (1,2) or capabilities (3,4) and whether you are after an endpoint (1,4) or a beginning (2,3) in your strategy.