Of all the meetings top executives go to in a year, none is more important than the strategy off-site, where the most essential conversations for the future of the business occur. Yet it is the rare management team that can say its strategy off-site truly changed the way the business is run. At best, participants do some vague direction setting and work on team-building skills; at worst, they write off the retreat as a waste of time and resources. It needn’t be like that.
Most strategies aren’t successfully executed.
Research shows that two-thirds to three-quarters of large organizations struggle to implement their strategies. The culprit is often the lack of process and structure needed to provide strategy execution/transformation efforts with enough discipline to drive traction. The solution? Key interactions orchestrated for a period of time to ensure cross-functional teams are engaged and the right conversations are taking place.
Strategy execution/transformation efforts must do three primary things:
Articulate the case for change – Ensure leaders across the organization understand the factors that are driving the need to change, can describe to their teams what success looks like, and are aligned around the work needed to get there.
Establish the foundation – Clearly define roles and responsibilities for the effort and establish a centralized body to coordinate the work. Once up and running, oversee the creation of implementation plans for the strategic initiatives and begin managing critical cross-functional interaction points.
Track progress and adjust as needed – Put in place reporting mechanisms, forums for reviewing progress, and communications to the broader organization, which are critical for building momentum. Carefully design and facilitate key conversations to enable leaders to review progress, solve issues, and make decisions/mid-course corrections on an ongoing basis.
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As the pandemic eases and we resume gathering in person, hybrid meetings will become a permanent part of how organizations function. These meetings bring added complexity at the same time that our collective Covid-driven year of meeting virtually raised expectations for remote participation. We share eight best practices to help make your hybrid meetings more effective.