Get Smart About Strategy Sessions: Because the Future of Your Business Depends On It
August 23, 2016
Are you ready to plan a successful brainstorming meeting and maximize the impact of your strategy session?
We constantly seek to innovate for our clients, and they turn to us because we provide the insight and wisdom to creatively frame sessions and extract big ideas. Our extensive experience working with businesses across industries for over seven years has taught us the key ingredients that go into a successful strategy, brainstorm, or planning session.
Want to know more about how visuals can enhance, align, and focus your strategy session? Read on to learn how to get more from your meeting before, during, and after everyone returns to work.
Before Your Event…
1) Get Real About What You Want To Get Done
Give your attendees a framework that keeps your meeting structured and less prone to getting derailed. Vet and know your goals and agenda and set realistic expectations for the meeting. Be sure to discuss your objectives with your graphic facilitator so they have the opportunity to bring you their expertise and so you have the opportunity to discuss how to best work together.
2) Get The Right People In The Room
Make sure essential people are involved while planning so you guarantee you have authority, decision makers, and providers of key insights during your session. Without the right mix of people, you may find your meeting stalling out and losing direction. Connect the right people with your graphic facilitator to maximize their impact together.
3) Be Smart, Be Visual with Templates
Pre-event templates and infographics are a creative way to align and engage working groups. They also provide a framework for you to integrate with your graphic recorders/facilitators to create focused, creative brainstorming and strategy sessions. Take a look at your agenda and discuss opportunities where you can get creative with templates.
Event Day: Brainstorming Techniques + Strategy Techniques
Graphic facilitators take notes so you don’t have to. They’re experts as trained conversation facilitators, and keep participants engaged throughout the duration of a strategy session. With one in your meeting you can be assured that a group’s ideas are documented and synthesized. The result is concise, clear, and connected ideas. Your group’s visions, goals and observations are even more powerful when they are transformed into a visual metaphor, like a journey map or growth plan.
Visual brainstorming creates structure and unlocks creativity during meetings and strategy sessions. The visual notes become a powerful tool to turn thought into action. They can lead groups to identify next steps, and to encourage reflection from your attendees. Your meeting attendees can vote directly on a visual with post-its or sticky dots to clearly prioritize what’s important. Templates, like the one above, help structure the discussion and invite active participation in a group.
After Your Event:
Even after the day’s proceedings come to a close, the images from your meeting can continue to support the large initiative of your meeting. Experienced graphic recorders will professionally photograph the illustrated meeting notes. These digital assets are a useful tool for you to share and further facilitate reflection and action amongst attendees. Your strategy session or brainstorming session will live on in the visuals created on site and continue to spark inspiration. Use them for further reflection, for reference, or to create enduring assets to gift and send out to clients, attendees, and key stakeholders.
Continue the Strategy Session with Draw Your Big Idea
ImageThink co-founders Nora Herting and Heather Willems wrote Draw Your Big Idea which presents their sought-after guidance and more than 150 drawing exercises tailored to brainstorming, refining, and executing ideas in the home, studio, and office. Learn graphic recording and visual facilitation tools, and the skill sets that allow us to support an elite roster of clients with our services around the globe. Draw Your Big Idea has been featured in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneurs en Vogue, and more. Before or after your event, continue to draw inspiration from ImageThink’s work and apply visual thinking in your workplace with colleagues, clients, and beyond.
As leaders in the graphic facilitation field, ImageThink has supported over 300 sessions per year, meaning we’ve logged tens of thousands of hours over the seven years we’ve been in business. Featured in TED Talks, on the Today Show, and in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, our team has visualized the big ideas of some of the most influential companies and thought leaders in thirteen countries on four continents.
Interested in collaborating together to make your strategy session visual? Click here for a full list of all our services!