How to Engage Staff in Strategic Planning

How to Engage Staff in Strategic Planning from Andrew Huffer and Associates

By: Andrew Huffer and Associates  06-Feb-2013
Keywords: Business Planning, Team Building, Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning is a framework to plan for and deal with change. It can also be used to ensure all members of a team are working in the same direction. In its simplest form, strategic planning comprises three basic elements – Now-Where-How. • Where are we now? • Where do we want to go in the future? • How will we get there? It’s a process to help people look at their current situation, identify how they would like the future to be and what steps they need to take to get there. BUT - first you need to consider two key questions. 1. Is the team ready? 2. Do they need to do anything anyway? Planning for the sake of planning is not going to get many supporters. Getting people involved in change processes can be a challenge. If we understand the process it can help to identify where and what some of the hurdles may be. My view is that we need to make it personal. Yep, personal. So prior to the workshop I often send out an online survey. In this I get participants to articulate their key frustrations about the way things are right now. This is not manipulation. If there are no frustrations, no concerns, no worries – then there won’t be a change. Everyone will continue in cruise control. The workshop and any associated documents and plans produced will largely be a waste of time – and money! As part of the ‘warm-up’ process at the start of the workshop, revisit these frustrations, concerns and worries. Use them in developing participants’ expectations of the process. And here’s the key step. Rather than having participants set an extended list of expectations that you’re expected to deliver on, turn it around. Get them to focus on the one thing they’ve ‘come here for.’ And put out the challenge. “If you find yourself wandering during the day, zoning out or getting distracted, come back. Come back and focus on this expectation, the thing that you want to resolve. Keep thinking of ways to address this throughout the process.” This way the ball is in their court – you can get on with running the process and they can have the responsibility of sticking to the task ahead.

Keywords: Business Planning, Facilitation, Strategic Planning, Team Building, Team Collaboration

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