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Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats
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Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats

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Strategic planning should be an opportunity for the whole organization to learn from itself (and others) about its choices, to develop a stronger consensus, and to cultivate increased engagement among …

Strategic planning should be an opportunity for the whole organization to learn from itself (and others) about its choices, to develop a stronger consensus, and to cultivate increased engagement among its various stakeholders. However, it is often left in the hands of a small group of senior managers. How can you involve more of the organization, effectively and efficiently, in creating or revising your plans?

The starting point for engagement is a carefully designed strategic planning retreat. There are various choices you can make in preparing for an effective retreat. These choices can be implemented using various structural tools so that the meeting is productive and contributes to a strategic planning process that yields plans that all understand and are aligned to implement. Rick and Sam will share examples and tools for working on strategic planning with groups from 12 to 200 in size.

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  • 1. Sponsored by: Designing Effective Strategic Planning Retreats Rick Lent and Sam Frank August 7, 2013 Twitter Hashtag - #npweb Part Of:
  • 2. Sponsored by: Advising nonprofits in: • Strategy • Planning • Organizational Development www.synthesispartnership.com (617) 969-1881 info@synthesispartnership.com INTEGRATED PLANNING Part Of:
  • 3. Sponsored by:Part Of: Coming Soon
  • 4. Sponsored by: Today’s Speakers Sam Frank Principal, Synthesis Partnership Founding Director, Nonprofit Webinars Assisting with chat questions: Jamie Maloney, 4Good Part Of: Rick Lent Principal Meeting for Results
  • 5. Designing Effective Strategy Sessions: Planning to Achieve Results Rick Lent, Ph.D. Sam Frank www.meetingforresults.com Strategy, planning & organizational development for nonprofits www.synthesispartnership.com
  • 6. Take-Aways 1. Critical role of engagement in a strategic planning. 2. How to choose tools to help you structure an effective, engaging session in your situation. 3. How to use selected tools for implementing effective structures regarding… • Whom you invite to participate. • How you design the discussion to support dialogue. • How you plan to reach a decision. • How you plan to follow-up. 6www.meetingforresults.com
  • 7. www.meetingforresults.com 7
  • 8. What is changing in how organizations conduct strategy sessions? 1. Changes in focus: how broad or prescriptive? 2. Changes in the frequency of planning? 3. Changes in who is involved? www.meetingforresults.com 8 What is your experience? Type in your thoughts on any of these:
  • 9. Changing Context for Strategic Planning? • Planning has to be directional and flexible. • More critical to involve various stakeholders as well as senior leaders. • More of a dynamic process subject to ongoing input and improvement. • Greater need to build organizational engagement and commitment quickly. www.meetingforresults.com 9
  • 10. Overview: Nonprofit Strategic Planning Process www.meetingforresults.com 10 Preparation Assessment Implementation Engagement Plan Development Engagement Preparation Assessment Implementation Plan Development
  • 11. Examples 1) A major foundation wants to revamp the strategy that has shaped its direction for decades • 200 people, from front desk to board participate • Video of interviews with beneficiaries • 2 ½ days www.meetingforresults.com 11 2) National social action organization wants to develop aligned strategy to coordinate multi-state efforts. • 30 presidents and board members from state affiliates • 2 days 3) State nonprofit needs to redefine how it serves its clients • 6 executive board members and 20 regional representatives • 6 hours
  • 12. Challenges • More people involved in planning with different stakes and levels of authority. • Widespread understanding and support essential to fast and flexible implementation. • Need to avoid overly lengthy implementation process, multiple re-dos, cascades and so on.  In large, complex, and potentially contentious sessions, you need to pay critical attention to meeting structure to be successful. www.meetingforresults.com 12
  • 13. www.meetingforresults.com 13 Unseen Structures Affect What We Do … This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 14. Unseen Structures of Meetings • Physical, temporal, procedural aspects of meetings. • With an (unrecognized) impact on how we interact with each other and the work of the meeting. www.meetingforresults.com 14 This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 15. www.meetingforresults.com 15 Which Strategic Planning Meeting Would You Rather Attend?
  • 16. 12 Structural Choices Across the Three Phases of Any Meeting www.meetingforresults.com 16 Planning 1. How you define the work of the meeting. 2. Whom you invite. 3. How you design the discussion. 4. How you plan to reach a decision. 5. How time will be “spent.” 6. How you will arrange the meeting space. Conducting 1. How you share responsibility. 2. How you support dialogue. 3. How you manage time 4. How you work with any conflict. Achieving Results 1. How you build decisions. 2. How you plan to follow- up. This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 17. Key Choices for Structuring for Effective Strategic Planning Meetings www.meetingforresults.com 17 • Whom you invite to participate. • How you design the discussion to support dialogue. • How you plan to reach a decision. • How you plan to follow-up.
  • 18. Whom You Invite www.meetingforresults.com 18 • Include (representatives of) the whole system. • Not just the “usual suspects” • Tool for identifying diverse stakeholders: – “ARE IN.” This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 19. ARE IN: Identifying Who Should Be Present • Be clear about the work of the meeting and what a successful result will entail. Then plan to include those who represent: – Authority to act on meeting conclusions. – Resources to apply in implementing meeting conclusions. – Expertise on critical aspects of the discussion or decision. – Information on some aspect of the discussion. – Need for an effective outcome of this meeting. This tool was first defined by Weisbord and Janoff (2010) www.meetingforresults.com 19 This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 20. How You Design the Discussion www.meetingforresults.com 20 Plan to maintain a productive discussion given: – Numbers of participants and if they know each other – Differences in status or perspective – Role of presentations – Tools to support your structure: 1-2-All PALPaR (Present, Ask, Listen, Pause and Reflect) • Three Reaction Questions This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 21. 1-2-All: Effective Engagement for Groups of Any Size After introducing a subject or question to be addressed by the group, complete the following steps. 1: Individual Reflection. Check to make sure everyone understands the question or topic for consideration, and then give individuals a moment to gather their thoughts. 2: Small Group Discussion. Next ask participants to turn to their neighbors to form small, 2-3 person groups to share their ideas. Explain the time they have for their discussion and ask them to make sure everyone in their small group can share his/her thoughts in that time. All: Whole Group Report. Ask each group for a brief report (typically 1-3 minutes) summarizing their small group discussion for everyone. www.meetingforresults.com 21 This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 22. PALPaR: Creating a Respectful Exchange of Reactions Before presenting a plan or proposal, outline the following steps to participants, and then implement as described. Present: You present the proposal (report or other information). Ask: Then you ask participants to talk with each other (in small groups) to answer three “reaction” questions: 1. What did you like about this proposal? 2. Where do you need more information? 3. What don’t you like? Listen: Take reports from each small group, one question at a time. That is, take everyone’s comments on the first question about “likes” first, before going to the second question. As you hear replies, record key points where all can see. Pause: Then take a break to incorporate what you have heard before continuing. Use this pause to reflect on feedback received and decide how to respond. You do not have to change your proposal in response to the feedback. And… Reply: Come back to the group and summarize what you heard as key points, and then how you have taken that feedback into account (or not) in the final proposal. www.meetingforresults.com 22 This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 23. Three Reaction Questions: Gathering Balanced Feedback After you present a proposal, ask participants to reflect on their own or (even better) to talk in small groups to answer the questions below. Try not to take any questions at first, as this will open up the discussion before you give them all a chance to reflect on their reactions. 1. What do you like about [the proposal]? 2. Where do you need further information? 3. Where do you have concerns? After a few minutes, take reports (from individuals or small groups), one question at a time beginning with the first. Make sure you get all replies to the first question before proceeding to the second. Once all the reactions have been shared, ask the group, “What are we learning about this proposal/decision?” to help everyone integrate all that s/he heard and arrive at overall conclusions. www.meetingforresults.com 23 This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 24. How You Plan to Reach a Decision www.meetingforresults.com 24 • Productive engagement requires being clear how you want to reach decisions on strategy. • Five ways to reach decisions with a group, “5Cs” – Consensus – Consent – Compromise – Counting – Consulting This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 25. How You Plan to Follow-Up www.meetingforresults.com 25 • Strategy can be implemented more effectively when people have a chance to reflect on their actions in an appropriately structured and timed follow-up... • Tools to structure effective follow-up: – Three Follow-Up Questions – Follow-Up Timing This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 26. Three Follow-Up Questions Learning from a balanced review of progress Bring the group together and focus the discussion around these three questions: 1. What has been accomplished as planned? 2. What hasn’t been accomplished as planned? 3. What can we learn about making progress in this area from our answers to both questions? Use all three questions one at a time in this order. You can modify the questions to fit the circumstances, but use all three types. www.meetingforresults.com 26 This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 27. Follow Up Timing Choosing an Effective Time for Learning from Actions Announce a review of progress on agreed actions within 30-45 days of the original meeting. • This period of time is usually long enough to have some accomplishments. • More important, this is not so long that the only thing that is “top of mind” is why some planned action was unrealistic. www.meetingforresults.com 27 This work by Rick Lent, Ph.D. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  • 28. For More Information.. 28 Rick’s e-book available on Amazon and other e-book retailers. Also see Rick’s blog at www.meetingforresults.com/blog or sign up for his newsletter Contact Rick directly at: rick@meetingforresults.com or 1-978-580-4262 Critical Issues in Strategy, Planning & Organizational Development perspectives for nonprofit trustees and staff Archive at http://bit.ly/SyParchive Contact Sam directly at: sbf@synthesispartnership.com or 1-617-969-1881

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