Have you seen this commercial about bad decisions people make in horror movies? It reminds me of the typical strategic planning process, where people KNOW it’s not going to be productive, yet they approach a kickoff strategic planning meeting the same way every year and think things will be different.
10 Signs of a Strategic Planning Meeting Nightmare
If you’re invited to a strategic planning meeting to prepare for next year or you are doing the one inviting to this type of meeting, look at the materials sent to participants.
Want to know in advance if the strategic planning process is going to be a nightmare?
See how many of the descriptions below apply to what’s being sent to participants to prepare for the strategic planning process:
- The organizer isn’t a strategic thinker
- People or whole areas of the company that SHOULD be included are absent from the invite list
- A bunch of blank pages were sent out for people to complete in advance about past performance and future strategies
- Invitees are expected to come up with ideas, issues, strategies, and/or forecasts outside their expertise that they are supposed to fit into complex templates and forms
- The first time anyone will see what everyone else is working on is when they show up at the first strategic planning meeting
- The meeting is too internally focused, with insufficient time to address customers, competitors, markets, and important external factors
- There are lots of presentations, but no time for the group to work collaboratively
- Not enough time is set aside (within the meeting or across the whole planning process) to create a plan that meaningfully (and not just incrementally) improves things
- The person leading the strategic planning meeting has too much authority over the participants and will sway their perspectives
- It’s not clear how decisions are going to be made about priorities and what to do for next year
Do any of these sound familiar?
I’m not sure how many of these descriptors completely tip the scales toward ensuring your strategic planning process is going to be a nightmare.
If more than four or five of them describe your upcoming strategic planning meeting, however, you can pretty much rest assured it’s going to be a nightmare.
Want to change your strategic planning process for the better?
There’s still time (yes, there is still time) to make a course correction and turn your strategic planning meeting into something productive and beneficial.
Think of us as the running car in the commercial, and you can leave all your horrors to the horror movies!