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Sample Strategic Planning Agenda | Strategic Planning Process UPDATED

By Anthony Taylor - March 29, 2023

Strategic planning Agenda for your next strategy meeting.

We've been leading strategic planning meetings for the past 12 years (and counting), and we've tested dozens of different strategic planning agendas so that you don't have to. Use our experience to have the best and most effective strategic planning process. 

Need a strategic planning facilitator so you can participate in an unbiased strategic planning process? Contact us today or learn more about your facilitation options:


Free resources to support your strategic planning. 

Download these tools to complement your strategic planning agenda. 

  1. Strategic planning template
  2. Alignment Scorecard: Measure your team's alignment
  3. 15 questions to ask your team before strategic planning


What is a good strategic planning process?

A good strategic planning process will help your team get clear and aligned on a few key areas:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where are we going?
  • What's going to get in the way?
  • How are we going to implement the plan/what do we need to do? 

If you're leading a strategic planning process with a team, getting alignment is critical. 

If you don't have a good process, you'll likely go on many tangents, "get stuck in the weeds" of the details, and not end up with a clear direction. 

A good strategic planning process needs a balance of outcomes and actions to help you reach your vision, or One Destination. 

With too many actions, you'll be busy working on a lot of tasks but might not be working in the right direction or towards shared outcomes. 

Without any actions, it means that your team will get stuck on determining "what's next" and your plan will take a much longer time to implement, or worse, not get implemented at all.


How to have a successful strategic planning meeting


After having led hundreds of strategy meetings both online and virtually (and all over the world) here are some things to consider prior to developing your agenda to ensure you have a good strategy meeting/offsite and overall strategic planning process:

  • Leverage Pre-work so the time you spend in the strategy meeting are used optimally. Don't present documents or research that could have been done in advance. Use the time to have discussions, and make important choices.

  • Have high-quality food and snacks, including breakfast with protein. Strategic planning is an incredibly taxing process for the brain and requires lots of calories. You don't want your group hitting a mid-afternoon lull when the most important work of the day is still underway. Have a good breakfast, good snacks, and high-quality meals. Avoid carb-heavy meals so people don't have a sugar crash, and save any alcohol for the end of the day after your planning session is complete. 

  • Go offsite if possible: When we've done sessions at people's offices, they get interrupted with day-to-day issues and takes away their ability to get outside of the day-to-day. I've also found that people are slightly more reserved because they don't want staff to know what's going on until the whole strategic planning process is complete. You'll find that while there is an additional cost to going offsite, you'll get better engagement from participants of the strategy meeting. 

  • Use a facilitator: If you don't have a facilitator, you are the facilitator. This means that if you're the CEO or head of HR, you're going to have a really hard time balancing the hat of facilitator, and your own role. You won't be able to participate fully if you're facilitating. Furthermore, your participants will have a harder time being honest and transparent with a facilitator who already has a bias one way or the other. 

  • Think strategically: People love get to get into the how/actions before fully clarifying the what and why (Mission/Vision). The result is that you'll get into rabbit holes, you'll digress, and people will get frustrated. Focus on your highest-level strategic outcomes and work your way to the actions, not the other way around. 

  • Wear the group hat: Strategic planning meetings get easily derailed when individual participants focus on their own needs/desires ahead of those of the group. Ask everyone to come to the meeting "wearing their organization hat" not their individual role hat. It's not a problem they advocate for their own role, but it's a group session first and foremost. 

Learn our approach to strategic planning


Recommended Pre-Work Agenda & Timeline: 

Pre-work serves two purposes: one, to make sure that your people are prepared for the upcoming strategic planning sessions so that you can make the most of your time, and two, to help align and engage participants (and stakeholders) early on in the planning process. 





4-6 weeks before the sessions

Booking & Onboarding:

  • Create a list of all session invitees (*and share it with strategic planning facilitator if applicable)
  • Book session date(s) and invite all participants so they have the dates in their schedules in advance
  • Create & distribute pre-strategy surveys or questionnaires to all session participants 
  • To engage leaders and key session participants early in the strategic planning process
  • To make sure the organization and participants are prepared for the upcoming sessions

2-3 weeks before the sessions

Session Preparation & Interviews: 

  • Review completed participant survey answers
  • Facilitator (whether internal or external) to interview key leaders and session participants
  • To gather and review information and feedback from key session participants and stakeholders

1-3 weeks before the sessions

OPTIONAL: Stakeholder Engagement

  • If there are additional stakeholders that you would like to solicit feedback from (who will not be in the planning sessions) we recommend engaging them before your strategic planning sessions.
  • This can be done through surveys and/or virtual stakeholder engagement sessions.
  • To gather input and ideas from key stakeholders before the strategic planning sessions


One day strategic planning meeting agenda


This one-day planning agenda is great for a small company or non-profit that needs a refresher on the organization's direction.

If you want to make the most of your limited time for strategic planning, learn more about using a strategic planning facilitator for your session. 

Before sharing the agenda, we want to note that we no longer facilitate or offer to facilitate one-day strategic planning meetings. 



Most notably, because as an external team we could not accomplish full alignment or create a complete enough strategic plan with only a one-day agenda. 

If you are leading this process internally, and you’ve been able to successfully pull stakeholders into the process prior to this one-day meeting.

And/or you will have subsequent strategy meetings at a later date to complete the strategic planning process fully. This one-day meeting is the first of many strategic planning sessions, then please use the agenda below. 


If your only option is to have a one day strategy meeting, it’s better than no meeting.


We would not advise any of our clients to only have a one-day strategic planning meeting and expect to have full clarity or alignment with your current state, vision, mission, values, priorities, goals and actions within an 8-hour day. It’s jut not realistic.


That said, If all the pre-work was done we’d focus on the core conversations needed for alignment. 


“To maximize your time, make sure to get your team involved prior to your one-day strategy meeting. Our free strategic planning questionnaire offers the key questions to help start your strategic planning process


Those are



A few things to note:

  • This one-day planning session is possible if you have a small team of six or less people. If you have more people, then you will likely need more time to work through the complete process. 

  • The survey is a survey we run with our clients to help them get in the right mindset, and ask the key questions before the session happens to cut down on some of the discussion.

  • Strategic priorities, KPI's and the biggest priority all roll in together, but are separated because it leaves fluidity for ample conversation and adapting the  agenda.


Time Item
9:00-9:15 Welcome intro - Overview of the day

- What are we doing well?

- What are we doing less well?


- Where are we going?

- Discussion: 3 year Vision

11:30-12:30 What's our mission?
12:30-1:00 Lunch

- Risk identification

- What is going to Stand in our way?


- How are we going to get there?

- Strategic priorities

2:45-3:00 Break
3:00-4:00 Measuring success / KPIs
4:00-4:30 Action Steps
4:30-5:00 Check out and next steps


Two -Day Strategic Planning Session (Most common + Recommended) 


We recommend two full days for most organizations.

The reason we don't believe an organization of the above size should use a shorter agenda for their strategy meeting is that there are too many essential conversations that need to be had.

At that size, your organization needs to be fully aligned from top down and bottom up, and should consider more fully the internal and external environment, current challenges and risks, and align the plan to your long-term vision, mission and values.

That alignment takes time, but it's needed because it will serve as a guide for the other members of the team that aren't participating in the strategic planning session. 

Here's a graphic representation of the strategic planning agenda. 

Sample strategic planning agenda 2023 UPDATE strategic planning process


DAY 1: 9:00 am-5:30 pm


9:00 - 9:45 am
- Team Introductions
- Who is the facilitator, what is their role?
- Ground rules for the facilitation
What are our goals for the next 2 days?
9:45-10:15 am  How did we get to where we are now? (Celebrate our wins)
10:15-10:45 am  Ice Breaker game (sets the tone for the 2 days)
10:45-11:00 am Break
10:45-11:00 am - What makes our organization? 
- SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
1:15-2:30 pm Lunch
11:00-12:30 pm - External Analysis & Environmental Scan 
- SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
2:30-4:00 pm - Vision: Where are we going? (Our aligned “One Destination”) 
- Why should we go there & what is winning? 
4:00-5:15 pm - Who are we? - The purpose of our organization
- What do we do? - Benefits vs features
- Who do we do it for? -Who we serve (customers & stakeholders
5:00-5:30 pm - Recap of the day 
-Questions, concerns, thoughts?



Day 2: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm




9:00-9:30 am - Good Morning & thoughts from yesterday
- Continue/recap of mission conversation 
9:30-10:15 am Organizational values & guiding principles
            - What are our current values and behaviors? “The way we do things around here”
             - These can be both positive and negative within the existing statement of values
             - What values and behaviors do we want to foster to help us reach our vision? 
10:15- 10:30 am Break
10:30-11:30 am - What is going to get in our way? (Risks & roadblocks)
- Which of these are the most impactful and likely to occur? 
- Addressing and mitigating these 
11:30-12:30 pm - Prioritization (Why prioritize?) 
- Selecting and aligning around 3-4 strategic priorities (areas of focus) 
12:30 - 1:30 pm   Lunch 
1:30-3:15 pm - Goal setting overview 
- Setting SMART goals with KPIs 
- Action planning 
3:30-4:30 pm - Communication planning for sharing and cascading your strategic plan
- Critical capacities for strategy implementation 
4:30 - 5:00 pm - Recap of each key discussion from day 1 & day 2
- Checking out: what is the most impactful action you can take to start moving your organization towards your “One Destination”? 


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Three-day strategic planning meeting agenda

If you have 3 days for strategic planning, we still use the two-day agenda as the foundation, but we add a couple of key conversations that vary depending on the organization.

That said, the 3rd day is always focused on execution. 

We typically break up the day into 90-minute alignment areas for problem-solving and alignment. 

We also use the time to dig deeper into action plans.

For example:




9:00-10:30 Complete goal-setting and action planning
10:30-10:45 Break 
10:45-12:00 Communication & Implementation Risks or Constraints  - What might get in the way of successfully implementing this plan? 
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-2:00 Core Issue Discussion (from Parking Lot) 
2:00-2:15 Break
2:15-3:45 Change Management Risks or Constraints - What types of change management risks or constraints might we encounter while rolling out the plan?
3:45-4:45 Cascading this Strategic Plan *Review communication plan as needed
4:45-5:00 Check out and complete. 


After going through the strategic planning process over 3 days, your team should be aligned and clear on the most important parts of your strategic plan. 


As you implement your plan, there will certainly be issues that arise where you need to discuss again and re-align. 

In addition to facilitating strategic planning sessions, we also support strategic plan implementation through coaching, accountability and training. 

Learn more about our how our strategic planning consultants can help you with the implementation of your strategic plan.


Virtual strategic planning meeting agenda


While the first phase of in-person offsite facilitation is usually completed in two 8-hr working days, we recommend splitting this up online to optimize engagement and to reduce screen fatigue. We recommend holding 5 x 3hr sessions, roughly one week apart.

This allows enough time to take a deep dive into the work each session, with space for creative thinking, reflection and any homework between each session. 

For example: 

  • While we recommend holding virtual sessions one week apart to allow for information digestion and homework time, you may wish to hold the sessions closer together or further apart, depending on your organizational needs
  • While we recommend 3-hour sessions because it’s long enough to dive into the deep work, and short enough to hold attention spans, you may wish to have shorter or longer sessions, depending on scheduling needs for your team (ex: 6x 2.5hr sessions, or 4x 4hr sessions)


Session & Timing


Session Outcomes

Session 1 


Where are we now?

  • Celebrate
    What is there to celebrate about where we are now?
  • SWOT Analysis
    What are our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats?
  • PESTLE Trend Analysis
    What are current trends that may impact the future of work?
  • Uncovering where the organization is now is a critical step before deciding where to go next
  • Defining current and likely future trends can help us look at the business landscape at a macro level 

Session 2 


Where are we going? 

  • Vision
    Vivid visioning: Where do we want to be in 3 years?)
  • Mission
    Who are we, what do we do, who do we do it for? 
  • The visioning exercise (different than your vision statement) will help your organization clearly explain what success looks like in 3-years’ time
  • The mission exercise will help your organization explain who you are, the benefits and outcomes of your products and services, and define your key customers

Session 3 


What is going to get in our way?

  • Values
    What are our current values, what are our desired values, what happens if we don’t live these?
  • Risks & Roadblocks
    What is going to get in our way?
  • By defining the values & behaviors that your organization currently exhibits (whether good, bad or neutral), you can move on to defining the types of values & behaviors that will help you to reach your desired future state
  • By identifying future risks and roadblocks and deciding which may have the greatest impact and likeliness to derail your implementation success, you can start to prioritize your organizational needs

Session 4 


What do we need to do?

  • Strategic Priorities
    What are the three areas we are choosing to focus on to accomplish our vision & mission and to mitigate risks?
  • Goals (SMART Goals/KPIs)
    How will we measure success? What outcomes do we want to see? 
  • By focusing on three to five focus areas in your planning cycle (Strategic Priorities), your organization will start to make strategic choices.
  • Setting SMART goals will help your organization to define what success looks like in these Strategic Priority areas, which will help you to track and monitor progress while executing your plan.

Session 5 


What’s next? 

  • Action Planning
    What do we need to do to accomplish our goals? 
  • Communication Plan
    How will we share this plan throughout our organization & with our stakeholders?
  • Next Steps
    What do we need to do next to implement our plan? 
  • Once you have priorities and goals set, you can narrow down the key actions that your team needs to take in order to make progress
  • Once this stage of strategic planning facilitation is complete, it is critical that key components of your plan are shared and cascaded throughout your organization

1-2 weeks after sessions 

OPTIONAL: Stakeholder Engagement:

  • If you chose to have stakeholder engagement surveys or sessions prior to strategic planning, it’s important to communicate with them again once your plan is developed
  • This will help you to continue to foster alignment and buy-in with key stakeholders prior to implementing your strategic plan 
  • This can be done in a variety of ways, including virtual town hall sessions with live Q&A, sharing the completed plan via PPT presentation or through intranet, and more!



Tools & Resources to Enhance Participation & Engagement 

In addition to our agenda, we utilize several tools and resources to help enhance participation and engagement within virtual strategy meetings. 

While there are abundant options to consider, some of our favourites include:

  • Zoom – This is a great platform to host strategy meetings as it allows the facilitator to see multiple participants at once in a grid view, to share their screen, utilize breakout rooms for small group discussions, to incorporate polling, text chat, and other functionalities
  • Liberating Structures – These are techniques and activities to help boost engagement and inclusion within group meetings and are considered a best practice within adult learning
  • Mentimeter – This platform allows meeting hosts to poll participants, generate group word clouds, and obtain real-time data from multiple participants at once
  • PPT Presentations – It’s a good practice for the strategy facilitator to have a PPT slide deck to help guide the discussions and to provide visual feedback to participants via screen sharing. This will allow participants to both see and hear any key instructions for activities throughout the session. 


Once you’ve completed your strategic planning process, the planning work is not over. It’s important to make sure that prior implementation that you’ve:

  • Solidified your priorities and defined SMART goals 
  • Documented your plan in a digestible way (ex:. a PPT presentation or PDF)
  • Developed a communication plan to share and cascade your strategy throughout your organization 
  • Booked a time with your strategy leadership team to create your implementation plan 
  • Set up a system to track and monitor your progress

If you want to learn to how to facilitate a strategic planning session, you can check out our strategic planning course where we'll walk you through each step of this agenda to help you achieve alignment with your team. 

If you read this article and you don't want to lead the process yourself, you might want to check out how our strategic planning services can help you get  alignment and clarity with your team. 

Bonus: you get to participate instead of leading the process. Learn more about the eight main benefits of using a strategic planning facilitator for your strategy meeting. 

Want to participate in the meeting instead of having to lead it yourself?

Use a facilitator to keep the meeting focused, on track, and get your team aligned. 

Learn more


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