Large group strategic planning meetings are typically conducted away from the office to foster an environment where folks engage with each other differently. Today, most of us are working remotely, and meetings are indeed "off-site" yet provide none of the benefits of the traditional off-site meeting.
In-person, group off-sites are designed for management teams to get away from their management routine and daily disruptions and move from problem-solving to planning.A well-designed and facilitated planning off-site will use the environment to shift each participant's mindset from the demands of managing transactions or activities to a strategic thinking mindset needed for strategy development. Such "neutral settings" can also help mitigate the dynamics of office politics/reporting hierarchies and increase participants' comfort in speaking openly about their concerns or sharing opportunities they see.
Now, within the constraints of the Covid-19 pandemic, must we settle for less connection, creativity, and engagement because we are locked to our screens for remote planning meetings? Or, is there a way to achieve some, if not all, the benefits of traditional planning retreats in a virtual "off-site" format?
Introducing the New Virtual Planning Essentials to Combat Burnout and Stimulate Strategic Thinking.
Here in San Francisco, we entered Shelter-In-Place orders in early March. Since then, to the degree possible, we have changed how and where we work. At this point most companies have adapted and built new competencies, often including virtual group meetings.
Fortunately, there are many tools available to support remote collaboration, yet assembling the full tool set to replicate the dynamic nature of strategic thinking sessions may be a challenge for most team leaders.
As we reach the time of year when preparing for planning begins, we have created new standards for planning given remote working constraints.
The new Virtual Planning Essentials include:
- Learn how to fully use the virtual meeting tool set available to enhance participation and engagement.
- Design and prepare for planning in the virtual meeting format that will stimulate, distill, and package strategy thinking.
- Find ways to humanize a remote meeting to unleash creativity and strengthen your team.