Ritualizing strategic thinking: the effectiveness of the strategic away day
We all know there are some significant challenges in the process of strategy development.
It’s about trying to envisage and address the key issues that are fundamental to the future well-being of the organisation. It is therefore fundamentally to do with uncertainty –not certainty. That’s not comfortable for any managers.
It’s also about asking the difficult questions. So questioning and challenging is central to the process. Again, not straightforward given that we know that strategies typically develop on the basis of organisations’ past histories and taken for granted assumptions.
It is also important to carry different stakeholders along with the process and build commitment to a strategy. Without commitment building, the danger is that the process ends up with
Our approach is that strategy development is an opportunity to build commitment to a strategy. It is not a matter of developing a strategy and then “selling it”. Rather the process of strategy development itself can build the commitment.
So we argue that there are three key requirements. Strategy development should be:
So, for us strategy development processes are about exploration that builds commitment.