I recently had the pleasure of facilitating a strategy process with an entrepreneurial team in a growing technology and communications organization. The owner and CEO expressed this simple request at the beginning of our discussions. The nuance of this elegant statement created an amazing exchange of ideas, energy, and future possibilities.
Trust – In any business, trust can never be taken for granted. Trust is built over time and incorporates a leap of faith. In a strategy session, trust allows for an exchange of diverse opinions and ideas to build collaborative value. Although I worked with this particular group for a brief planning session, I could feel the energy and ideas created by stepping outside of daily responsibilities and considering future options.
Process - Although process isn’t really a sexy word, I find that the right process is critical to turn great ideas into a viable plan. Process is the receptacle for ideas to take shape. The blue print for each piece of the plan can be built on this foundation.
For a team to come to the table with a common desire to build an organization poised for future success, trusting the process unlocks the door. Releasing control and willingness to truly collaborate, allows the brain to stop self-editing and start brainstorming. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, but I am confidently telling you it’s going to be worth it.
So what is the reward for this amazing gift of trust and the willingness to follow a process? Working with a committed team to create a working plan. Selfless decisions made to benefit the organization. Creating the pride of ownership, a plan for action and the power of making a difference.
One of my greatest joys is working with non-profit organizations. The mission drives staff and volunteers as a powerful motivator. These groups are inherently ready to bring their passion for and a willingness to trust the process. It is inspiring to develop a viable strategy that can help to serve more people in need. I am in awe of these professional’s commitment and calling to serve the less fortunate. With resources always scarce, strategy can provide an invaluable tool to prioritize and focus.
As we move toward the Thanksgiving holiday, I am grateful to work with groups on their strategy. I am inspired by this process that creates innovation and ignites passion. I love this quote from Margaret Mead because it captures the magic element I see in each strategy session.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
Happy Thanksgiving. My hope is that you engage in planning the future and feeling the magic of people, process, and possibilities. Thank you.