Your Strategy Sessions Are Important for Your Growth

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Oct 17, 2019

Thinking strategically is not a once-a-year event. It’s a constant approach to execution planning. If you've never done this before, you need to do a strategic thinking session as soon as possible, followed by a deep-dive every year.

As we've mentioned before, you must have long-term goals as well as short-term execution plans that carry out your strategies for adding zeros to the 5 Disciplines. Every 90 days, revisit and reassess the effects of the zeros you’re adding and whether you’re achieving your priorities and goals. You’ll update your quarterly action plans to reflect your findings.

Hold your deep-dive meetings annually. Then hold quarterly meetings (every 90 days).

Ideally, the annual session will be two days long. It will be held off-site to remove all distractions from the job at hand and enable deep work.

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time and generate high-level output while leveraging expertise. Deep work is becoming increasingly rare in our attention-deficit economy where there’s an ever growing number of distractions. Unless your talent and skills absolutely dwarf those of your competition, the deep workers among them will out-produce you.

Here are the steps to optimize your performance.

  • Enforce strict isolation until you’ve completed the task at hand. This leverages the following law of productivity: (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus) = High-Quality Work Produced.
  • Present strategic issues and questions for discussion
  • Brainstorm on a certain topic within a proscribed time that is, be freewheeling in your thoughts, but stay focused.

As Stephen Covey describes it in his bestselling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this is work that is Important and Not Urgent, and rarely gets the attention it needs when anything seemingly urgent is on the horizon. Therefore, there should be no day-to-day distractions like email, phone calls, office responsibilities and activities, or other demands on participants time.

Providing live-in accommodation for the session is useful, so participants can go to their private rooms when needed for off-stage time. It’s nice to have other spaces where people can retreat as necessary to get out of each other’s hair or take a break. Having a kitchen where food can be obtained whenever it’s needed also enables the group to have time at the end of the day to eat together. This is invaluable in creating bonding experiences that lead to dynamic work sessions. Secluded retreats, game parks, conservation park conference facilities, and five star hotels are excellent venues.

To recap, thinking strategically is a constant approach to execution planning. You need to do a strategic thinking session as soon as possible, followed by a deep-dive every year.

We'd love to hear from you. Have you taken part in deep-dive meetings that have provided good strategy planning for your organization's goals? Thank you for sharing.