Planning leads to corporate success and one of the best ways to keep on top of your team’s progress is to hold regular strategic meetings. When you engage in these strategic planning meetings, you’re going to ensure that your business objectives are clear and attainable, you’re going to reduce costs and you’re going to use meaningful meeting data to drive results.
This is especially important if you’re using or providing managed services to another company so that you can keep on top of your progress and how that fits in with the organization’s mission and goals. Because strategizing is so important, Fellow has created a full, comprehensive guide to take you through everything you need to know.
- What are strategic meetings?
- Benefits of strategic meetings
- Do’s and don’ts of strategic meetings
- Who Should Attend Strategy Review Meetings?
- Strategic meeting preparation checklist
What are strategic meetings?
Strategic meetings are focused on your team and overall company strategy, which are recurring or regularly scheduled. Sometimes strategic meetings are referred to as business performance reviews, as strategic reviews, stats sessions, or quarterly reporting meetings, although they all serve the same purpose which is to track organizational goals, understand the progress that has been made, and plan for how to attain the next milestones. Strategic meetings are also used for social media marketing (smm) which is a part of strategic meetings management smm for the smm program.
Strategic planning focuses on using numbers and aggregated meeting data to assess and improve the progress on organizational goals. Board meetings also tend to have a strategic planning process in their meeting agenda. Strategic meeting management programs and meetings focus on what the company is trying to accomplish, the progress that has been made, and on brainstorming ways in which to improve team performance.
Benefits of strategic meetings
While there are many benefits of strategic meetings, we’re going to outline a few of the most prominent advantages that they offer:
1 Cost Savings
Cost savings are made because when you are constantly reviewing the progress of your company, you’re going to keep on top of your finances and make sure you’re keeping on or under budget. Not only will cost savings result from your strategy meetings, but you can also reallocate funds where they are needed because you’ll always be aware of where you managed to keep under budget and which departments need a little more financial support. As you enable cost savings across the organization, you can also align resources more effectively and make more informed budget decisions.
2 Operational Control
Strategic meetings promote organizational control because it enables a full view of all that is going on in each stream of the business. Because strategic meetings require a status update in each major area of the business, you’re going to gain a strong understanding of how smoothly your operations are running and where they may need a little more attention to keep driving the team towards attaining organizational goals.
3 Mitigating Risk
Regular check-ins and status updates on the progress of your projects is going to enable you and your team to mitigate risks with a lot more ease. Because these meetings are regularly scheduled, as issues arise, you and your team can discuss them and strategize a mitigation plan for them during the meeting. This way, there is no need to organize other meetings or discussions and the problem is addressed then and there with no time to stir or grow.
4 Facilitating the identification and subsequent adoption of opportunities for improvement
Not only can you avoid risks and problems that arise through your strategic planning meetings, but you can also identify areas of improvement. Collaborate with your team to understand what they think they could be done for their tasks and responsibilities to run more smoothly, allowing them to assist you in hitting the overarching organizational goals. Because you have subject matter experts, use their knowledge and insights to your advantage to hit goals faster and more effectively.
Do’s and don’ts of strategic meetings
Before we get into what you should do in your strategic meetings, let’s flag some don’ts so that you can steer clear from these common confusions and make better use of your time. We’ll follow this with some main points that you’re going to want to do in order to run the most effective strategy meeting with your team.
- Don’t involve any kinds of discussion about everyday operations. You have other meetings and other less formal opportunities to talk about your team’s daily tasks
- Don’t even try to meet without a meeting agenda!
- Don’t allow brainstorming or discussion to go past the time outlined in your meeting agenda; use the parking lot technique and move on so that you can get a clear understanding of progress across all streams of the business
- Don’t get off track- if it’s not related to a strategy update or doesn’t involve strategic planning, it’s not the time to get into it
- Don’t ask questions like: “What have you done this month?” “Are you on target to finish this project?” – This is better left for an operations meeting.
- Do plan in advance and send out a meeting agenda in advance so that you and your team can collaborate on the topics to be discussed
- Do be mindful of who you invite to your strategy planning meeting
- Do set a main goal for your strategy meeting, rather than it simply being an update across the board
- Do create action items and assign them to your team members so that you can hold one another accountable
- Do ask questions like: “Are we showing results?”, “Are we making an impact?”, “What is the next step to achieve our goal of X?”
Who Should Attend Strategy Review Meetings?
As we briefly mentioned, be intentional with who you’re inviting to all of your meetings and events, but especially to strategy meetings. For your strategic planning process, include the CEO, Managing Directors, Executive Directors, and their direct reports who are involved in creating, maintaining, and executing strategic initiatives. It’s typically important and impactful to also invite any project managers who are involved in the strategy aspect of the business as well as data collectors, managers of specific departments that are involved, and any staff-level participants who work within strategic planning.
Strategic meeting preparation checklist
Here are the main items that should be included in your strategic meeting preparation checklist:
1 Prepare data in a timely manner
It’s really tough to scramble at the last minute to put together meaningful data for any kind of meeting. This is especially true for strategic planning meetings because not only do you need to have the data, but you need to truly understand the numbers and give meaning to them so that you can think of a way forward for the organization and tailor your strategic approach to really harmonize with your data. Make sure that you have dedicated processes to monitoring, tracking and documenting the data over the course of time so that you can properly understand the progress of your hard work and initiatives in place.
2 Create a detailed agenda
A productive strategy meeting can’t take place without a detailed meeting agenda. Make sure that you outline the main topics for discussion which all work towards achieving a purpose or main goal set for the meeting. Allocate specific amounts of time to each item on the agenda and make sure that if you’d like your team to present their portion of strategy, you send the agenda far in advance for time to collaborate and discuss topics that are the most pressing and that hold the most weight. Make sure to leave time at the beginning of the meeting for everyone to provide an update on the progress that’s been made since the last meeting, as well as enough time at the end of the meeting to assign action and issue items to be worked on before the next strategy meeting.
Use a meeting management tool like Fellow to have an organized meeting with each attendees talking points, action items, and updates all in one place.
3 Include supporting documents and questions
When you send out your strategy meeting email invite, be sure to include any kinds of supporting documents and questions that could be useful to your team members. This kind of information is going to add context and add value to the meeting because participants will show up more informed and more prepared to speak on the strategy at hand. If there was any kind of information that helped you prepare for the meeting, consider attaching this material for the benefit of your teammates as well. These supporting documents don’t necessarily have to be formal. They can also be any articles or blog posts that have provided you with any kind of valuable insight.
Strategizing is a really important part of a successful business and so we hope that this article has helped you to meet your business objectives and goals more effectively. If in reading this article you realize you may need to brush up on your knowledge of strategy, there are all kinds of strategic meetings management programs that you can engage in as well. Remember to plan for your strategy meeting well in advance and to collaborate with your team on what the most pressing issues to discuss are. Once you’re more comfortable with running your strategy meetings, you’re going to notice higher productivity, better mitigation of issues, cost savings, and more innovative ideas. As always, it’s a pleasure to see you on the Fellow blog and we can’t wait to see you next time!