Regular reviews of your business strategy are critical to make sure that you are not just sitting on your five year plan document but actually taking the next step of execution. Yet many organizations come into strategy discussions ready to talk operations, put out the latest fire, or go through a project status review, all of which miss the big picture point of the meeting.
If you’re going through the trouble of getting the leadership team in the same room, then it’s important to make sure you’ve nailed down the content. So what are the best ways to structure your strategy review meetings (SRM)?
1. Less is more
Stop trying to review everything. A focused session where your team discusses three to five big picture objectives is better than trying to cram every detail into your conversation. I work with many organizations where the selection of the agenda is highly political (“If we don’t talk about it today, it isn’t important”), so it is a good idea to rotate the deep-dive objectives each meeting.
2. Select a facilitator
When you’re five minutes into a conversation around the 20th line item needed to fix something, someone needs to say, “STOP!” The facilitator’s role is to determine if something can be worked out faster offline and to pull the conversation back to the big picture. Nobody likes getting dragged into details when the big-picture is already agreed upon.
3. Get the report out early
Preparing for the SRM can be tough with short deadlines necessitated by financial reporting, scheduling, or a variety of other complications. But if you can get that pre-read document out early, the quality of your conversations are going to jump. No excuses. Get your homework done!
Don't expect perfection
If your team doesn't score 10/10 the first go-around, don't sweat it. Try to focus on delivering an action item report to your team so that you can come away from the meeting with a list of decisions. As we've written before, it is a good idea to start scheduling your meetings a full year out to get logistics correctly coordinated.
If you're looking for more information on SRM best practices and strategy execution, check out our full white paper on how to better structure your meetings.