The coronavirus continues to cast a long shadow over America. Masks, social distancing, regulations…the rules keep changing. Despite the headwinds, US businesses continue to find ways to overcome. This includes coming up with safe ways to do strategic planning. Whether you are in Cincinnati or anywhere in America, here are some ideas I’ve discovered to make strategic planning both safe and effective.
Over 400 businesses and organizations have hired me to facilitate their strategic planning process. While the vast majority of those took place pre-coronavirus, I’ve led many since. And I’ve learned a lot about how to make them successful under challenging circumstances.
One thing that never changes is the need to create a clear plan for the future. Involve and engage employees who can add to the process. Think in new ways. Identify opportunities. Keep things measurable. Assess the current landscape. Chart a course for success. And hold people accountable.
Current CDC guidelines recommend limiting the number of people in a room. And since strategic planning often takes between half a day and two days, it’s worth minimizing proximity and potential exposure.
One recent strategic planning session I conducted had a maximum of ten people in the room. Everyone wore masks. Workspaces were spaced out to allow for at least six feet separation.
For many organizations, limiting the in-person number to ten would be difficult. That’s why we also added in a video component. In this case, we used Zoom. This allowed us to include an additional fifteen participants.
Technology worked well. A big TV screen and good audio system allowed remote people to effectively watch, hear and add to the conversations.
I’ve facilitated several strategic planning sessions that were 100% virtual. It’s safe to say that most people miss in-person. But I’ve found ways to make it work well and replicate the face-to-face experience.
Facilitating a strategic planning session is an art. There are times when I draw out input from unlikely participants. And times when I have to shut down the most eager ones. That’s because the goal is to come up with the best plan. One that will help lead the company or organization to success. There are safe ways to do strategic planning, in Cincinnati and all over America. And, more importantly, there are effective ways, too. If you would like more information on how I can help you, please give me a call.