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Planning Resources

Strategic Planning Pre-session Activities

A great planning session begins before you enter the room. Check out how the right pre-session activities set you up for success.

Make the most of your next goal-setting session by executing the right pre-session activities for your team.

1. Conduct surveying in advance

Before your strategic planning session, conduct an anonymous poll to gather each participant's take on the organization’s greatest strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This approach levels the playing field, ensuring all voices are heard without bias and anchoring effects. When it’s time for the meeting you have a comprehensive, uninfluenced set of data points to work from. Teams can spend a few minutes in the room recapping the survey findings, which means there’s more time for collaborative discussion about goals.

Completing SWOT surveys in advance also means your team begins thinking about discussion topics well before the planning meeting. Participants come into the session having already considered the organization's biggest opportunities, and are ready to focus on the future.

2. Provide agendas to participants

Develop and distribute a clear agenda that outlines the day, including topics to be discussed and expected outcomes for the meeting. This helps ensure that all participants are aligned on the purpose of the session and understand what needs to be accomplished, allowing for more focused and productive discussions.

3. Ensure your team understands the planning model

Whatever model you're using to build your plan, you want to be sure your team understands the terminology and key principles. Take time to share reading material, videos, and other helpful resources prior to the planning session to ensure everyone understands the framework and is capable of using the model to plan together.

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