Business Strategy WorkshopA Business Strategy Workshop is a process where matters of a strategic nature are tackled, worked through and resolved; where:

  • participants focus on developing the best businesses response to business conditions, opportunities and challenges
  • value improvement opportunities within a business or business division can be identified and addressed

For best results, those that will be responsible for implementing a business’s strategy, should be involved in its development. In this way, one can instil much higher levels of buy-in and ownership, and expect higher levels of performance and accountability. This notion is behind the concept of a Business Strategy workshop.

When should a Business Strategy Workshop be held?

Events such as important changes in the business environment, serious problems or competitive challenges, market or acquisition opportunities, ownership or senior management changes can trigger a business strategy review, for which a Business Strategy Workshop is a great mechanism.

Most well run businesses have an established communication and collaboration process where relevant matters are regularly covered. Examples of these are sales meetings, operations meetings, management meetings etc. These are held at a frequency that makes business sense in relation to ongoing business operations and what they specifically address.  Compared to these topics, business strategy is relatively static and as such is worked on far less frequently.

Whilst a business strategy is usually set for the 3-5 year timeframe, you should review and update it every year (at least) to keep in sync with market, economic and competitive developments.

Business strategy is quite distinct from business planning. A successful and effective business plan is only as good as the strategy it is derived from. A Business Strategy Workshop is thus a vital and valuable input to the business planning process and as such should be conducted at the same frequency.

A Business Strategy Workshop should should focus on important matters of a longer term nature without being distracted by non-strategic issues covered in other meetings. It is for these reasons, that most businesses use external facilitators who can keep the focus and ensure that the required outputs and results are produced within the allocated time.

Good Strategy vs Poor Strategy

A good strategy is universally recognised as a key element of a successful business. Many mistake corporate vision and mission statements, along with extravagant financial goals to represent good strategy –  whilst in practise busily pursuing incoherent policies and actions. Good strategy is based on insight. Insight into the true nature of the situation, the hidden opportunities and forces and the most appropriate and resourceful response.

The benefits of externally facilitated strategy development and the Business Strategy Workshop method

It takes a leader of uncommon ability to be able to gain the clarity to drive the strategy of their own business to its maximum potential on their own. This is the reason that the best strategy outcomes are most often produced when the process is driven by an external professional who understands, and is focussed on, the process and on ensuring that the best and most realistic strategy is produced.

  • The facilitators business and strategy experience will greatly enhance the value of the process and its outcomes
  • With no vested interest one way or another, the facilitator will make sure you get to a satisfactory and pleasing result
  • Having a facilitator will make it easy to tackle challenging or contentious issues without any personal risk
  • You get guidance in terms of preparation as well as materials ahead of time to prepare the strategy team properly including:
  • You will be able to participate fully in the workshop instead of having to conceive. organise or run it

When completed, the workshop will reveal a set of clear strategic recommendations that squarely address the original purpose and objectives of the workshop.

  • Your team will appreciate the opportunity to collaborate and have their ideas and thoughts discussed
  • You and your team will gain clarity and confidence in the knowledge that your thinking and strategic response is up to date
  • The collaborative process of a workshop serves to align thoughts and ideas, increasing the buy-in and forward commitment of participants, making implementation much easier and quicker

How does it work?

After initial contact, a consultation is held with the business’s strategy sponsor, where the purpose and desired outcomes will be formalised a, preliminary agenda compiled, a workshop date set and any concerns addressed.

Next, we will compile a survey for you and sent out to the people you nominate to get their feedback and involvement.

After the workshop, we will hold a debrief with the strategy sponsor.

What you can expect to get from running a Business Strategy Workshop for your business?

  • Clarity on the key drivers of your business’s success
  • Fresh, aligned thinking on the best way to maximise your outcomes within a 3-5 year period
  • Strategic positioning for sustainable, ongoing competitive advantage
  • Critical attention areas and applicable initiatives required

In addition, the strategic workshop will

  • align business stakeholders and management, helping to consolidate a high performance culture
  • improve clarity, confidence and commitment in relation to the future development of the business
  • identify many tactical opportunities and initiatives for immediate attention and action

What to do next?

Get in touch and we will quickly establish whether a Business Strategic Workshop  is right and timely for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of organisation do you work with?

We primarily work with entrepreneurial business in the SME space with between 5 and 200 employees.

We also work with Not For Profit organisations.

What do you charge for a Strategy Workshop?

Once we understand the specifics of your needs, we will be able to quote you a specific price. Please contact us for further information in this regard.

Will you help us to set the right agenda?

Yes. Part of the package is certain pre-work which includes creating an appropriate agenda to ensure that your desired outcomes can be met. You can rely on our experience to ensure that time is not wasted or the outcomes do not meet your expectations in any way.

How long does the process take?

The timeline is typically as follows:

  • Initial stakeholder consultation
  • 2 Weeks later: finalisation of workshop agenda
  • 2-4 Weeks later: workshop conducted
  • 2 Weeks after the workshop, the final debrief

Where do we hold the workshop? Can we do it online?

Usually, workshops are held offsite at a location convenient to your organisation, free of typical interruptions and day-to-day distractions.
Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have effectively adapted our workshop to be able to run online using Zoom, and this has some advantages.

These details can be explored in the initial consultation

Does the workshop need to be done in one sitting?

Depending on the scope of the agenda, there may be elements that are usually more effectively tackled in separate sessions than in a single sitting. But, consideration needs to be given to the interruptive nature of taking people away from their regular work on more than one occasion.  It is therefore best to treat each case on its merits and work out the best solution for each client individually.

Can you help us implement our strategy after the workshop?

Yes indeed.  We are acutely aware of the need for proper follow up to ensure you can realise the full benefits of having held a strategic workshop. Details of how this works can be discussed at the initial consultation.

Who should attend the workshop?

This will vary from organisation to organisation and with the specific purpose of the workshop, and is a decision for the client. Most businesses use the Business Strategy Workshop to work through their central business strategy and to get input and buy-in from their leadership team. In such a case, the people that would attend would be:

  • The CEO
  • Marketing, Sales and Operations Managers
  • Financial manager
  • other senior staff members as required

Generally speaking, it is preferable to keep the number of attendees low in order to speed things along. But, at the same time, one should be sufficiently inclusive to ensure maximum buy-in from people who will need to be be relied on further along.

From a facilitation point of view, the only consideration is the amount of time allocated. Bigger groups move more slowly.
Usually, the attendee list is a discussion point for the initial consultation.