We all have limiting beliefs that may be holding us back in our business, but…
Reboot Your Business With a Strategy Session
Are you feeling a bit stuck in your business? A Strategy Session could be in order.
Are you noticing that things are just not happening and your business performance a bit ‘meh’? Then maybe it’s time to reboot your business with some innovation, a change of approach or a new direction that a strategy session can provide.
What’s a strategy session?
A Strategy Session can mean different things to different people. In this context, I use it as a generic term meaning a workshop, meeting or discussion where you focus on your business strategy and set a course for your future direction.
There are some key elements of your business that your Strategy Session will need to cover. And the specific requirements of this will, of course, depend on your particular business. You’ll need to develop your own framework to suit you and the following prompts should assist:
Start with the essentials.
Where is your business in the market, and where do you want to be? Are there existing areas you can leverage better or new areas you can expand into?
Do you have the right team in your business right now? Is there a key talent you should be recruiting or underperformers that would be better off somewhere else? Are there key players in the market that you should be partnering with?
Where do you want the business to be in the years ahead? Do you want to grow, contract or stay the same? And is the growth in terms of revenue, profit, headcount, manufacturing output, capacity, product range, services offered, or something else?
Take a detailed look at your financial performance – both your Balance Sheet and your Profit & Loss. Pull them apart and drill into the detail of your Assets & Liabilities, your Debtors & Creditors, your top line Revenue, your Cost of Sales, your Gross Profit, your Overheads and your Net Profit. Do you like what you see? Where would you like those figures to be? And in what timeframe?
Now look forward.
Are you and your team expending unnecessary time and effort forever repeating tasks without automation? Are you inefficiently doing things using outdated systems, technology and software? Business systems have advanced dramatically in recent years, and there are opportunities in every facet of your business to automate and do things more efficiently.
What does the future of your business look like? Are your traditional markets under threat from new players or new technology or changing demographics? Are there untapped opportunities just waiting for you to make some minor change to your business that could allow you to own that space? Do you have a succession plan in place or an exit strategy for when you decide its time for you to transition out of the business?
Maximise your results.
To maximise your results from your Strategy Session, it’s important to do some pre-planning and map out some key items.
Start with Who, What and When.
It’s important in a Strategy Session to access the collective brain of your business because inspiration and great ideas can come from many sources. Include your key stakeholders and big thinkers, but also consider the value and experience that your regular staff bring to the table. For example, if you’re thinking about upgrading some machinery in your factory, it would be a great idea to include a machine operator
Think about the best format for your Strategy Session, e.g. a roundtable discussion might suit some companies, or an interactive workshop format might work better. Alternatively, you might combine it with some team-building activity and games to break down barriers and open up the lines of communication
It’s important to schedule an appropriate amount of time to make sure you can cover everything you want to get through, be it a half-day, full-day or even a whole weekend. Plan in advance and give everyone sufficient notice and time to prepare for what will be covered.
Move on to the Where, Why and How.
A change of environment can be a great way to encourage creativity. If the setting is the same old place where people spend their time every day, it can limit how much they are able to think outside the box. And this is a key objective of your Strategy Session. Think about going off-site, maybe at a retreat, a function room or to keep the costs down you could even have it at someone’s house
This is probably the most important question. Getting really clear on the purpose of your Strategy Session and your ideal outcomes will inform all the other pre-planning
Think about bringing in a facilitator to help run the session. It can be a great help to have a fresh set of eyes who can look at your business through a different lens to those who are working in it. Different experience can spark creativity and innovation and draw out new ideas. A good facilitator can keep things on track to stick to the schedule. They can help you stay on-task without drifting off into too much detail or away on a tangent.
Reboot your business.
Every business can benefit from a well-planned and well-structured Strategy Session.
A strategy session doesn’t have to be enormous in scope or earth-shattering in its findings, but it could be just the thing you need to reboot your business and take it from ‘meh’ to mesmerising!
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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