Review & Adapt

Guidelines for Your Strategy Review

Restricting the meeting to reporting on measurements can help you stay on task and keep the meeting within 30 minutes, but if you can commit to a full hour, the meeting agenda should also include some time devoted to working on one specific topic or on one of the quarter’s priorities where decisions need to be made. Once agreed upon, this topic should be developed to conclusion.

Consider these additional tips for making your strategy meetings more effective:

  • Schedule the monthly strategy meetings on the same day and time each month in order to encourage making strategy a habit. Likewise, schedule quarterly meetings for the same week of each month following the end of a quarter.
  • Invite individuals or departments/team leaders. Their presence creates visibility and recognition for the people getting things done.
  • Make the meeting mandatory – no exceptions. This is 30-60 minutes time well spent.
  • Start and end on time and stay on task with an agenda.

Holding meetings helps focus your goals on accomplishing top priorities and accelerating growth of the organization. Although the meeting structure is relatively simple, it does require a high degree of discipline.

Why Hold Strategy Reviews?

Holding regular strategy reviews is the key to implementing your strategic plan, making the numbers, achieving your company goals, and, finally, making strategy a habit for everyone involved. These meetings will give you the ability to manage activities that drive future results and hold people accountable for making sure those activities happen.

According to a past Fortune cover story, 86% of business owners and managers spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy. Not surprisingly, this same article also reported that nine out of ten organizations failed to implement their strategic plan. Quarterly and, in particular, monthly strategy meetings allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your strategic planning efforts and make any necessary adjustments before it becomes too late.

Implementation: Guide to Strategic Review Meetings and Keeping Your Team on Track

Key Points between Operational Status and Strategic Meetings:

Strategy Review Meetings

  • Monthly
  • Are we working on the right stuff?
  • Organizational level—”highways in the sky”
  • Conversation about “what” we are working on
  • Review of KPIs—are we moving the needle?
  • Deep dive into 1 or 2 goals and discuss strategic issues
  • Take action and adapt the plan
  • Organization/Strategic Topic deep dive

 

Operational Review Meetings

  • Weekly
  • What are we working on?
  • Runway level—”coming in for landing”
  • Keep everyone in the loop on “how” your projects are going
  • High-level updates—are we on target?
  • Escalating issues that require management involvement
  • Individual report outs

Monthly Strategy Review Meetings: Purpose

The monthly strategy review meeting is the heartbeat of the strategy management process. In order for a plan to be an effective management tool, it must be up-to-date, guide decision making and be on top of mind. Therefore consistent review and monitoring of the plan is necessary to know if we are on or off course and to modify the course if necessary.

Required Attendees: Executive Strategy Team

Date, Time, Frequency: Once a month, 1 hour

Input to Meetings: OnStrategy updated only relevant comments that week

Individual Handouts for Meeting: Department Managers–Department Action Plans (weekly) / Strategy Director–Full Plan with Progress–for all (monthly)

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