Strategy meetings: Ensuring organisations reach maximum velocity
Strategy meetings play a vital role in helping your organisation to achieve its goals. This article explores what a strategy meeting is, why they are important to success, and how to run strategy meetings that help you to win.
Strategic execution is the life-blood of organisational success. Setting a strategy and then delivering upon it ensures that your company has the best chance of reaching its objectives, and ultimately winning out in the world of modern business.
And this is nothing new. Organisations have been setting strategy and meeting to report upon it for centuries. However, our ability to communicate more immediately, measure more fully, and report more regularly has grown exponentially with the rise of technology.
When managing the strategic process, there are a number of key meetings that need to take place in order for the process to run as smoothly as possible. One of these is a ‘strategy meeting’, where leaders report back to the CEO of a company on the performance of their individual strategies, so that the CEO can, in turn, give feedback to the board.
In this article, we will explore what a strategy meeting is, why they are important to organisational success, and how to run strategy meetings that ultimately help you to win.
What is a strategy meeting?
An organisation’s strategy will likely be set at a reasonably long interval - either five years with an annual ‘refresh’, or for smaller organisations, annually.
A lot can change during the course of a year. Problems can arise, external environments can shift, and organisations themselves may morph and meld - people come and go, after all. Strategy meetings are therefore held on a regular basis to ensure that the long-term vision for the organisation is being lived and delivered upon on a regular basis - usually in the form of a two-weekly meeting between leaders and the CEO.
If we think of an organisation as a car, then the strategy is undoubtedly the engine - the driving force that propels the organisation forward towards its goals. In this case, a strategy meeting is where the rubber hits the road - it is where the strategy connects with the different areas of an organisation, and where progress is reported back. This allows the CEO, who is steering the car, to make any adjustments needed so that the vehicle stays on track.
A strategy meeting serves a number of functions, including:
- Reviewing objectives
- Assigning the status of each initiative
- Understanding how KPIs are performing, and
- Identifying underlying problems and solving them as a collective.
Therefore, strategy meetings are essential to delivering on your organisation’s objectives.
Subscribe to Sherpany newsletter and access the articles, interviews and product updates.
How to run a strategy meeting effectively
While many leaders will consider running meetings as a rudimentary part of leadership, it is often true that many organisations neglect meeting training as a part of their executive development. As strategy meetings serve a vital purpose in the strategic process for a company, it is therefore of the utmost importance to learn how to run one effectively.
There are four key areas to address in order to run a successful strategy meeting, these include:
Meeting preparation is central to the success of all meetings. Strategy meetings are no different. In order to ensure that you are able to capitalise fully on strategy meetings, as a leader you must prepare fully.
For strategy meetings it is imperative that participants have:
- Contributed items to the meeting agenda of the meeting in advance
- Updated the numbers for their particular area of the business
- Prepared to talk through the status of their key initiatives and objectives, and have read the updates from other departments/business units.
Learn more about meeting preparation here.
Key to the success of your strategy meeting is the facilitation of the meeting itself. In order to effectively lead your strategy meetings, you must follow the agenda closely, ensuring that each item sticks to its allotted timing, keep discussions focussed on achieving the objectives of the meeting, and give each participant ample room to contribute. The in-meeting phase should be relatively straightforward if the pre-meeting phase has been conducted effectively.
Following up on your strategy meeting is essential if the value created during the meeting is to be fully captured. Finalising and distributing the meeting minutes, along with the action items and their respective owners, is central to equipping meeting participants with what they need in order to deliver. It also ensures that there is ownership and accountability for the actions agreed during the meeting.
4. Maintaining momentum
As strategy meetings usually take place on a fortnightly basis, there is plenty of time in between for momentum to be lost. This must be avoided at all costs. As a leader, it is incumbent upon you to maintain the energy that is created during strategy meetings. Tools such as Sherpany can be especially powerful here as you can maintain an open channel of communication with those involved in delivering your strategy, asynchronously. Furthermore, sending words of encouragement, checking in with your team between strategy meetings, and creating a sense of psychological safety are all important components of empowering your leaders to deliver on their areas of the strategy.
Strategy meetings: Central to winning the race
Strategy meetings serve a fundamental purpose in the role of delivering upon an organisation's strategy. They ensure that the car can gather pace and reach its maximum velocity - to ultimately win the race.
Through a series of meeting best practices, your strategy meetings can do exactly this: help you win. Effective meeting management, and a clear understanding of how strategy meetings fit into the broader context of your organisation's success, will enable you to hold strategy meetings that help your organisation to go the distance.