Strategic planning for successful businesses

This article first appeared July 6, 2010.

Last week I attended a really great strategic planning retreat and I have had time to reflect on why it was so successful and what lessons it held for good business communication.

The first aspect for me was that the over used word “strategy” was simplified and clarified to: What is going to take us from where we are now, to where we want to go?

The facilitator had a great ability to simplify concepts, get rid of acronyms and get all participants on the one page.

From a board perspective this was great, as company directors are usually at a distance from day-to-day business activities and the language used over the day and a half gave great clarity to all participants.

There was an even a stronger reason for the success of this retreat, that is that all participants felt able to contribute and some of the wildest ideas got bandied around, and this created an atmosphere of comfort around creativity and participation.

I also noticed that everyone was given the hearing they required. This meant that no one dominated proceedings or intimidated participants.

The Chairman really turned the retreat over to the facilitator and this really broadened the big picture that could be painted for the “Where We Want To Go”.

So what were the results? Amazingly, everyone involved could see the opportunity for a big leap forward, a challenging picture was painted of the opportunities and risks and participants felt that the resolved future was possible.

As a board member I left the meeting feeling that while the business team had a great challenge ahead, the vision was achievable. The business team left feeling challenged but also capable of achieving the vision.

It was a great lesson in the fact that when brains are fully utilised and views respected, great ideas can result.

A great way to run a business!


High Heeled Success book



Marcia Griffin’s latest book, High Heeled Success (pictured left), is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4,700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. Contact Marcia to purchase. Marcia’s latest venture is skin care company griffin+rowan amazing range of naturally effective skincare that Target immediately ranged in 154 stores.


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