Here’s a list of the biggest mistakes that I have seen made by strategic planning facilitators over the years:
1. Not getting sufficiently trained on how to do facilitating, e.g., planning the meeting, goals, ground rules, which techniques to cultivate complete participation, doing interventions, managing conflict
2. Not learning a variety of strategic planning models, e.g., conventional, issues-based and real-time planning – and instead “pushing” one model all the time, everywhere.
3. Not partnering with a small Strategic Planning Committee to ensure a high-quality planning process (the Committee’s role is not to put content in the plan)
4. Not planning the planning process beforehand, e.g., what’s the purpose of the planning, what was learned from previous planning, what cultural considerations are needed, what model should we use, etc.
5. Not encouraging ongoing strategic thinking and instead mistakenly focusing on one-shot inspiring and motivational experiences
What do you think?
(The Consultants Development Institute provides an online Series “Facilitating Strategic Planning” that addresses these mistakes.)
Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, faculty member of the Consultants Development Institute.