Strategy as a Religious Experience

This has been an amazing week of firsts! Earlier, I shared my Strategy as a form of Art, and this morning I can honestly say that my Strategic Alignment & Planning workshop became a Religious Experience!

I thought my client Six Degrees was joking when they told me their offices were located in a 19th century church, but pictures can’t tell a lie & when I rocked up to the front court yard, actually the cemetery, I stepped over a grave & into one of the coolest office facilities I’ve seen to date! The night before I had finally met the team in person at a dinner at the local restaurant, which in itself was a once-in-a-lifetime experience as the Queens Royal Brigade had invaded the pub to relax, drink and sing, sing, sing after their day’s chores of Swan Upping.

I made my way up to the dinning room and for a minute I thought I had interrupted a family reunion. The energy, the sharing, the conversations, I couldn’t believe how aligned this team was and how much they felt like an extended family! In the good sense, of course 😉 But I had more awaiting me! When I walked into their offices this morning, I was “gob smacked”. You say that when you’re married to an aussie after all ;-). To see pictures all over the place, again, just like you’d find in a family home. If it wasn’t team pictures in the hallway, on the shelves, it was their numerous award on the alter! What a more fitting place to put them. Rumor is, their going to start putting their top clients there! Literally on the alter!

WOW, now there’s one way to get me to church that my mom never thought about! As a professional facilitator, I can’t stress the importance of commanding the room, so what more suited environment for me than to initiate the ceremonies from my own pulpit! Then after their blessing, we got down to business! The business of setting an empowering strategy that will have this team align around it, super charged by it, and take accountability for delivering results on the master plan that was about to be brainstormed & concocted during the next 8 hours.

Final result? The plan is laid out, the Core Ideology is in construction, the core values, rules for the road, rules of engagement are defined, the Top 5 areas that need action are identified, better yet, they’re prioritized, actionable and accountable. Loads of tips, tricks & best practices have been shared, experiences have been spoken, practical examples have been adapted to suit their unique company culture and they’re psyched and ready to get on with the show.

What’s next? Over the course of the next two weeks we’ll outline/workout the critical keys for success! We’ll focus in on creating smaller action items to celebrate periodic success after regular pulse checks on the road to achieving the larger goals & objectives. We’ll put it all on a One-Page Plan, collective & individual, which means that we will literally have everybody on the same page!

And that’s it! As simple as that! I passed around the collection plate 😉 and asked for feedback on “what worked” and “didn’t work” for them. All part of the continual improvement program that has these sessions get more powerful with each engagement!

Six Degrees Public Relations

P.S. Usage of post-its inspired by Jonathan MacDonald during a super facilitation a couple of weeks back at M.Love

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