When it comes to strategic planning meetings, it can be hard to keep your team focused. A lot of decisions need to be made in a short amount of time, and even with a meeting agenda, things can still get derailed. How can we help ourselves, or lead our group, to make thoughtful, well-informed decisions that advance our strategic goals?
At LMD, we guide our clients and internal teams in strategic planning meetings by keeping the following principles in mind:
- Gather information. Pull together all the facts and information you’ll need to make decisions. Collect data, conduct research, and use metrics—such as A/B testing results—to understand the current state, what works and what doesn’t. Have attendees review the gathered information before the meeting or develop a quick research brief. Your team will feel more confident about their choices because they’re backed by information.
- Keep restating the meeting’s goals and objectives. What are you trying to accomplish with the decision at hand? It’s important to stay focused on the desired outcomes of the meeting. Include these in your agenda and reference them often throughout the meeting to steer everyone back on course.
- Don't get stuck on the small stuff. Prioritize the critical decisions first. For example, don't spend hours debating what color the new headline should be in your digital ad—instead, decide which call-to-actions will motivate your audience to convert. Once those seemingly tougher decisions are behind you, the smaller ones should come much faster.
- If you’re working with a group, let everyone participate. If a team has been brought together then everyone is there for a reason. Are they a subject matter expert? Do they bring a unique perspective based on their experience? Don't be afraid to use tools or unusual decision techniques such as a decision tree, pros-and-cons list, or possibility ranking to get everyone’s thoughts out in the open.
Finally, remember you can always course correct. Move forward with your decision but know that changing direction is okay and even expected. For example, your marketing team implements a new effort that doesn’t resonate with target audience(s). No worries! Good decision making isn’t necessarily about getting it exactly right from the start but knowing that you have to start somewhere.
Looking for someone to help you plan your next campaign? Call LMD.