The Leader & Planning: Pace and Environment


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This is the 4th in a series on leadership and planning.

The other three parts can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Strategic planning is necessary for the success of any entity. You need a team that is highly engaged and ready to give their best thinking towards the future. Today’s post speaks to the right pace of planning and the best environment. Here are some practical suggestions on both.

The Right Pace Matters  Too many leaders wear out their teams with all day meetings. It’s death by planning.

1. Spread the time out over multiple days.

2. Never have a planning meeting for more than four hours in any one day.

3.  Don’t stay on one topic for too long. I would recommend not going more than 60 minutes on any particular issue. If you are tackling a particularly big problem–return to it later when there might be some fresh ideas.

The Right Environment Matters  If you want people to be engaged and contribute well you need to place them in an environment that aids the creative process.

1. Provide a comfortable meeting room that is well lit and has enough room for people to move around (I actually prefer meeting in a home when possible).

2. Be sure to take a good break every 75 to 90 minutes during the time.

3. If you are going to require aids like a VPU, large whiteboard (with markers that actually work), giant 3M note pad, post-it notes, etc. Be sure everything you need is ready and in sufficient number.

4. Snacks. You have to have some good snacks.

There is the art and the science of planning. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference. Lead well!

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