I am preparing for a strategy session on Monday. Each of them is different. A process isn’t a process isn’t a process. If you approach strategy as a way to drive strategic thinking rather than check-off boxes in a flowchart, it is imperative that you envision where you want to lead the organization.
I don’t mean lead in the sense of taking them to a conclusion about what is strategic, but that you take them to a place where they see their position from a different perspective. It is important to understand where an organization is in order to do this well. If you don’t intimately know the players in the meeting, you need to infer what will guide them. The bigger the group, the more likely it will be you need to do you own scenario planning for the uncertainties of acceptance around your facilitation and approach.
The value in these kinds of sessions comes from moments of insight that shift perceptions. When people experience their organization from the outside, when they can lift themselves out of their daily concerns, out of the mundane of accomplishment and efficiency and realize they can paint their future against a larger canvas, then you have earned your role as their facilitator and guide.