By Todd Ballowe
How to Run a Strategy Review Meeting

So in my last post about getting out of the trenches, I promised to give examples of how to run a strategy review meeting and an operational meeting. Since the strategy review is a little long, I’ll post that today and next week we can look at operational meetings.

Running a Strategy Review

Again, the key to keeping your focus on strategy all year is to separate the content of your strategy meetings and your operational review meetings. What many times begin as strategy-focused meetings usually atrophy throughout the year into sessions focused on putting out day-to-day fires, and we don’t want that.

So how do you run a strategy review? We’ve come up with a model, based on our experience and some of the info in the HBR article I mentioned in the last post. The main idea of the meeting is to monitor progress of the company from a strategic level and make sure that objectives are on track. This model is for a medium to large-sized company (one large enough to have a strategy officer) but could easily be scaled down to meet the needs of smaller organizations.


  • Hold leaders accountable for strategic initiatives
  • Deeply investigate the strategic status of one initiative
  • Focus on whether strategy implementation is on track, where problems are occurring in the implementation, why they’re happening, what actions will correct them, and who will have responsibility for achieving the targets
  • Except in unusual circumstances, do not use the meeting to alter or adapt the strategy


  • Senior Management Team
  • Strategic Initiative Owners
  • Functional and Planning Specialists
  • Business Unit Heads
  • Strategy Manager


  • Strategy Reports: Prepared by Strategy Manager and broken up by strategic initiatives. Each should contain:
    • Initiative Strategy Map
    • Objectives & Targets: color coded by status (on schedule, behind but not needing attention, off track and requiring attention)
    • If an item is off track and requiring attention, the report should include a short comment from the item’s owner explaining the performance gap and what actions are being taken or proposed to address them
  • Everyone in attendance should read the report and be ready to discuss

Meeting Overview

  • Status Review: Strategy manager reviews status reports
  • Strategy Overview: CEO presents a quick review of color-coded strategy map, offering perspective on the business
    • Review Strategy Map
    • Highlight Key Issues
    • Review Initiatives
    • Review Measures
    • Note Accomplishments (*don’t forget)
  • Initiative Audit: Focus on one (or at most two) strategic initiative(s) in depth
  • Initiative Assessments: Quick overviews from leaders of each strategic initiative
  • Hot Topic: Allow for one operational or strategic “Hot Topic” outside the initiative
  • Meeting Review: CEO summarizes the results of the meeting
  • Action Log: Review new actions and responsibilities

Right-click and save the following link to download a PDF version of the strategy meeting model along with agenda.