Tips for Running an Effective Strategy Day
We held our own Aide de MD biannual strategy workshop recently. You can imagine, enormous post-it notes all over the office, sore arms from writing on the walls, and thank goodness for UberEATS delivery.
We had an agenda of course, and a plan to complete our session within 4 hours. I believe that is long enough to capture top-line goals and to keep you thinking strategically.
We started by completing a review of the past 6 months individually, and then moved onto planning for 19/20. I don’t think strategy days need to be held at the beginning of the financial or calendar year, but they should be 6 monthly to ensure everyone is working in alignment with each other. Due to our busy timelines for clients, we run ours in April and October.
So much can happen in 6 months, so it’s interesting to review the changes in the business and reflect on what has or has not worked. For example, we started an office “referral process” for new clients 12 months ago, thinking that it would be an effective way to develop business. It hasn’t worked as we thought because I think referrals come naturally, less likely when they’re requested. So as a business that relies on referrals for growth, how do we grow? We agreed that we are able to do this by continuing to live by our values and focus on our marketing strategy. This has always been my mantra; do the best you can, and the work follows.
By the way, we reaffirmed our company values and mission statement. Talking these through reinforced to us that we have the right people in our team aligned with our values, and that Aide de MD continues after 12 years, to grow a client focussed business.
I’ve realised our values and mission statement are not on our website (action 1), so I would like to share them with you.
Our values: Innate integrity, objectivity, perpetual learning, enjoying what we do and helping people.
Our mission: “Aide de MD helps people in businesses to succeed in their commercial goals. We achieve this by objective mentoring using our experience and perspective”.
There are many schools of thought around whether you should or should not change your company mission and values. My view is that they should be revisited and tweaked if necessary. Language changes and as a business evolves, so should the business mission and values. Honestly though, if I was running a workshop and the team wished to change them completely, I would be concerned.
We worked through our core focus, 1- and 5-year plans, our marketing strategy, and recognised what we do really well and what we need to improve. It was an energising discussion, punctuated by a couple of “oh, I forgot about that” and “that’s a great idea, let’s do it”. A business our size allows agility, freedom and flexibility for the people in it, as well as how we work with our clients. It’s important to remember this as we grow and ensure that we keep on our toes and manage the business rather than it managing us.
So, we will be putting together our latest plan, we’ve had more team photos done (@kyle.ingram), we will continue to update our website, and most important, keep ourselves fresh, curious and continuing to learn and develop.
That’s Aide de MD.