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The Benefits of Strategy Workshops for Driving Business Innovation and Growth

A solid business strategy is vital for success in today's fast-changing landscape. Small and medium-sized businesses can develop one through strategy workshops at low cost. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of strategy workshops and why they're crucial for long-term success.

With the holiday season now behind us and the arrival of the new financial year, it's an excellent time to review and refresh your business strategy and planning. When I say “refresh”, this more applies to the “big end of town” where it usually forms part of the annual business cycle. Anecdotally, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often don't have a documented strategy or detailed plans on how to achieve their goals. Fortunately, this process can be done with relative ease and at a low cost, providing significant value to the business. In our March edition, we were fortunate to feature a guest editorial by Ben Stevens, CEO of FlipView, who shared "top tips" on risk and strategy. In this article, we will take a closer look at why and how to run successful strategy workshops. As Yogi Berra, a famous American baseball player, once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." This statement is just as relevant to running between the bases as it is in business today.

So, what are the benefits of a business strategy workshop?

  1. The starting point is often the business owner's perspective on business objectives. However, it's crucial that everyone in the business is on the same page to ensure they are all working towards the same goals. Key staff and other stakeholders, such as key customers and suppliers, could be involved when circumstances permit. The result should be clarified objectives.

  2. Having everyone together in the same room at the same time creates improved collaboration. Once objectives are clarified and owned by attendees, the impact on their respective parts of the business is understood and shared. Brainstorming ideas can break through barriers to success and deliver the best outcomes for the business.

  3. Timely decision-making is achieved when key business representatives are present and focused on the matter at hand.

  4. Enhanced manager engagement occurs when the environment is set to openly encourage participation regardless of position. After the strategy session, notes are collated and shared, making it easier to devolve down through the business.

While a strategy workshop can be run on company premises, there is value in conducting them offsite, away from the distractions of day-to-day business. Integrating the workshop with a fun team-building activity can encourage a sense of collegiality through participation. Additionally, an external person experienced in facilitating such events may be better at encouraging balanced participation and fresh perspectives. Finally, gone are the days when strategies were "set in stone" for a minimum of three years, with changes only occurring during the annual business planning process. With disruption seemingly around every corner, there is a need to review strategies more frequently - often at least annually. Therefore, it's important to reconvene as necessary to ensure the dinghy, yacht, launch, or supertanker is pointing in the right direction.

Need help?

If you need help, we can provide guidance on this process or facilitate/lead the strategy workshop. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

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