A 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