Are you planning a brainstorming meeting/strategy session?
At ImageThink graphic recording, we have supported thousands of meetings across many industries. Along the way, we’ve gleaned valuable insight into what makes for a successful strategy session, and what are signs of sure failure. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a new startup, some things are universal when conducting an internal meeting. Avoid these seven strategy session pitfalls to make sure you make the most of your time.
1) Your meeting prep consisted of scheduling a room, a video conference line and catering.
2) One of the 3 key components of planning is missing
Objectives (where are we going), Vision (Why are we going there), & Agenda (what is the itinerary for this trip). A brainstorming meeting is going to require a good deal of thought regarding defining realistic objectives and thoughtful ways to achieve them. Don’t confuse meeting objectives with your departments objectives.
3) The room is full of the wrong people- key stakeholders and leadership are missing
If the people who have the authority to bless ideas, approve budgets, and provide key insights are missing from your meeting, one of two things will happen: Your meeting will stall out as soon as someone in the room points out that “we really need X for this discussion” or worse yet, the people in the room will move forward only to find all their work in vain, when Ms X didn’t buy-in. When we support a brainstorming meeting, we make sure these essential people are involved throughout the process, from the planning call to the day of the event.
4) You planned to plan
5) The agenda largely consists of getting everyone “up to speed.”
7) You don’t have an appointed facilitator
The same senior ex that was too busy to define the objectives has become the default facilitator. While she might the expert at the topic at hand, it is not a guarantee that she is skilled in group dynamics and decision making. Invest in having a professional facilitator who will focus on the process, encourage full participation and keep the group on task and moving forward. A valuable partner to this facilitator would be one of our graphic recorders, we support your meeting by visualizing the big ideas & engaging your attendees. Isn’t your strategy worth it?