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How to evaluate the
end result of a strategic planning workshop.

By Ruth Tearle

The end result of a successful strategic planning retreat is a powerful strategic plan, plus a team that is united and excited about their future.

What should you expect from your strategic planning workshop? How do you know if your strategy retreat was a mere pretence or a success? It all depends on what your team has achieved by the end of your strategic planning workshop.

1. Evaluate your strategic plan

A powerful strategic plan meets these evaluation criteria. It:
  • Provides a a clear description of the markets that the organization will and won’t compete in, in the future.
  • innovation-time
  • Takes into account new trends or shifts in the political, social, economic, technological, industry and competitive environments surrounding the organization and its customers.
  • Shows how future trends will affect what their future customers will value and be prepared to pay for.
  • Contains a number of creative opportunities to take advantage of the new strategic trends.
  • Gives a clear reason why a future customer will choose to support their organization, rather than any of their future competitors.
  • Contains a mix of exciting products and services that their chosen target market will love, want to buy, and will want to share with their friends.
  • Shows what will need to be in place within the organization, to ensure it is able to exploit the opportunities and achieve its competitive advantage.
  • Is something the group is capable of achieving, and wants to achieve.

2. Evaluate the likelihood of your plan being implemented

In addition to developing a powerful strategic plan, an effective strategy workshop provides a number of people or team benefits:

  • People who used to belong to different silos or divisions, now act as a united team.
  • There is more positive energy as the team is excited about the future and the plan they have created to be successful within that future.
  • The team has learned how to think in a creative and customer focused way.
  • Individuals are positive about the future as they see a role for themselves to contribute to something exciting and meaningful.
  • All of this, makes it easier to implement a strategic plan, as most of the resistance normally associated with implementation, has been replaced by excitement.

A powerful strategic planning retreat ends with a team that:

  • Has clear direction
  • Has a clear picture of their future
  • Has put their own creative touch onto their picture of the future.
  • Is excited about their future and the contribution each of them can make to this future.

Such a strategy is more likely to be implemented successfully, in a way that truly benefits the organization.

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