Taking the time to reflect, think outside the box and plan for the future as a team, with clients or as senior management is vital to every type of business. The formula for how this is done can vary widely however the essential ingredients listed below will take your next planning day from a routine (or sometimes dreaded) day to something each team member looks forward to.
These five tips will help unify your team and focus your business’s goals and set the measurable path for achieving them in the future.
1. Get out of the office
This is the number one most important yet sometimes overlooked step to successfully running a planning day. Any sort of workshop should always have your team feeling energised, motivated and thinking outside the box, and that means getting physically outside the box aka the office.
If you don’t take your team out of the office, you won’t be providing them with the best chance to search for and produce creative solutions for everyday business problems - whereas a fresh new environment inspires.
2. Allow for extra time
If a workshop is proving highly effective but is running over the allotted time, allow for this in order to keep those positive big picture brainstorms continuing rather than cutting it off because you have too much to try and get through.
If you need to take two days instead of one, allow for this overflow or alternatively build that extra time in from the start and if it’s not needed for business critical planning, take the time to bond with and better get to know your team with an outdoor activity or afternoon ‘refreshments’, to really get the creative juices flowing.
3. Plan a treat for the end
Whether it’s happy hour drinks or a special sit down dinner under the stars, having a relaxing group bonding experience to actually look forward to at the end of the day is all the more motivation to work hard and think laterally while also providing a memorable experience for you to show appreciation for your team’s hard work throughout the day, quarter or year.
Spicers Hidden Vale is a popular location for executive retreats and conferences with The Barn being a popular dining option. Start your afternoon with a guided walk through the property’s market garden with the chef, tasting home grown canapes along the way. Your journey delivers you to The Barn where your group is seated on long tables under an old sprawling fig tree adorned with fairy lights. With generous share plates on the menu, your group will find the evening to be extremely collaborative and interactive.
4. Set achievable goals for the event
Set expectations for the day at the outset through clearly actionable and achievable goal setting. Make sure some of the goals set for the group also allow team members to have input in what these should be.
However, big picture goals for the day should be set prior so that all parties know what is expected and what sorts of preparation they should do. Whether that pre-prep is in the form of past learnings, financial results or competitor analysis and information gathering, the more prepared your team is in advance and the more ideas they can bring to the table, the more you will get out of your day.
5. Follow up regularly
Many businesses only ever run their strategic planning days annually in time for the new financial year, however the secret to running a successful annual session is in fact by having regular smaller scale events that keep your leadership, staff and even your clients on track and accountable to progress and achievements.
Regular strategic planning events also give teams the chance to address something quickly when it isn’t working and pivot towards a better plan of action. These don’t have to be too far from your regular office but in an inspiring location like Spicer’s Balfour Hotel in Brisbane or Spicer’s Potts Point in Sydney, which offer up corporate challenges and team building experiences to help your business think differently.
Has your team been working extra hard of late? Why not treat them to a team retreat? Virgin Australia has teamed up with Spicers to give away the ultimate team retreat. To find out more and enter, click here.