Are you a CEO, founder, or innovator tired of boring strategy planning, business planning, or complex project planning meetings? Shake things up by learning how to make your sessions more engaging and productive in this article.


How often have you sat through boring planning sessions? Or sessions were you don’t think everyone contributed their best? Where you were disappointed with the outcome?

  “I was not looking forward to this. I thought I’d be sitting here all day listening to presentations. But it’s been so interesting, and I’ve loved being involved.”

This is what a board member said to me during a one day strategic planning workshop that I facilitated last week. It warmed heart to see her so enthusiastic and grateful.  With a bit of careful consideration before your workshop, you can have an enjoyable, productive session where everyone contributes, and you’re pleased with your planning outcome.

3 tips for your strategic planning workshop

  1. Create psychological safety in the room at the start. You can do this with a creative icebreaker activity that you match to the culture of the group, and needs of the participants. We used a techniques that got everyone out of their seats hunting down some information, which meant everyone was talking and moving and greeting each other ….. and this made everyone really relaxed at the start. I knew from the laughter in the room that they felt safe to contribute.
  2. Design some interesting active ways for people to get involved and actively contribute. This means rolling up their sleeves and doing activities in small groups, working on tasks that contribute to the goal of the day.  This increases energy and engagement. Less boring than listening passively to presentations. We used a design thinking to come up with a purpose statement.
  3. Before the workshop, ask for input on strategic parameters from all participants. This will frame the discussion, keep it focused and appropriately bounded, and Turbocharge your conversation. For example, we decided the strategic themes before the workshop.  This allowed participants to have a productive conversation on the day about the stuff that matters. (Distinction: This was a convergent planning exercise not a divergent strategic thinking exercise!)

*** Please forward this article to others who will be interested. ***


For more on culture, the key to unlocking strategy success, watch the one minute YouTube clip below and subscribe to my new YouTube channel below. 👇

Quote of the week

HR’s involvement as a partner in planning and executing organizational strategy has increased from 36% in 2021 to 50% in 2024.” McLean and Company’s HR Trends report 2024.

If you’re stuck, call me. I can help with your next strategy process, business planning, or complex project planning.


Keep turbocharging with a people-centric approach 😊🌱📈

PSS Not sure how to get your strategy unstuck, projects powering, and transformation turbocharged? I can help you.

  1. 🌱 For more ideas, playbooks, and to learn from others with similar challenges, join our Turbocharge community at the price of a coffee a day. Money back in 14 days if you’re not satisfied.
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About Lisa Carlin

As a strategy execution specialist and scaleup mentor, Lisa works with ambitious digital leaders to turbocharge their transformation and business planning. Lisa’s clients have an independent sounding board and expert advice so they have absolute confidence they WILL ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS. Lisa is Co-Founder and Director of FutureBuilders Group of organisational development specialists, and volunteers as Chair of the University of Cape Town Australia Trust. Her early career was with Accenture (South Africa) and McKinsey (USA).

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