Our core emphasis is on collaboration and creative problem solving with a “whole systems” approach. That means as much as possible, we strive to include the whole team (in a small business) or representatives of all affected groups (in larger organizations) in planning.
Directis plans and leads strategic planning events that help teams to achieve focus and set plans for a defined time horizon (usually 6 months to 2 years depending on the speed of change in the organization and its environment). Our events build upon the wisdom of the group, taking dedicated time to:
- celebrate and acknowledge the history of the organization and the team;
- systematically evaluate the changes occurring within and around the organization that impact its strategic choices;
- crystallize & confirm the mission, vision and values of the organization and find a common thread that links individual members of a team to the organization’s core purpose;
- evaluate the business model for sources of competitive advantage or weakness;
- identify a realistic number of priorities for action within the time horizon;
- plan out the resources, measurements and timeline for actions.
If that seems like a lot to accomplish, that’s because it is. To complete a full strategic planning process including all of the areas listed above takes an average of 3 days and a minimum of 2 days. The length of time required depends on the size of the team, the nature of the team’s communication patterns, and the complexity of issues facing the organization. More commonly, an organization will need to work on just two or three of the areas above. We use a modular approach to create agendas that work within our clients’ resources and timelines – the process is a little different each time, but it builds on tested and proven strategic planning activities.
Strategic Planning Retreats most often take place away from an organization’s “headquarters” to allow participants to gain a sense of focus and avoid distractions. We have a number of beautiful retreat locations to choose from in Victoria and the Lower Mainland, and we are always cost-conscious in helping an organization find the perfect budget-friendly retreat space.
Retreats often make use of graphic facilitation techniques as well as other creative thinking and collaboration tools. We’re always expanding our toolkit: you can see some case studies and discussion of what we’re learning in the blog.