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Virtual Strategy Meeting Agenda (with sample)

By Jenna Sedmak - January 20, 2021

SME Strategy is a strategy consulting company that specializes in aligning teams around their vision, mission, values, goals and action plans. Learn more about how we can help you and your team create a strategic plan with our strategic planning and implementation services.

With more and more office work moving to the virtual realm, strategic planning is as important as ever (if not more so). If done right, virtual strategic planning can be as valuable, collaborative and engaging as in-person sessions. 

 

 

Our team has facilitated hundreds of strategic planning sessions for organizations large and small, both in person and online. We've developed processes like strategy meeting agendas to help make sure the entire process is focused and that organizations are set up for successful implementation. 

If your organization is planning a virtual strategy meeting, this agenda will help you stay on track and make sure that your team is aligned every step of the way.

*If your organization is hosting an in-person strategic planning session, check out our 2-Day Sample Strategic Planning Agenda.

We use this agenda as a guideline for our virtual strategy facilitations, however, it can be customized to each organization’s needs.

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)

Pre-work 

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. 

 

Recommended Pre-Work Agenda & Timeline: 

 

Timing

Item

Purpose/Outcome

4-6 weeks before the sessions

Booking & Onboarding:

  • Create a list of all session invitees (*and share with 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 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 prior to your strategic planning sessions
  • This can be done through surveys and/or virtual stakeholder engagement sessions
  • To gather input and ideas from key stakeholders prior to the strategic planning sessions

 

Virtual Strategy Meeting Agenda & Timeline

While the first phase of in-person strategic planning 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. 


We can help you align your team around a clear vision, mission, values, goals and action plans,

so you can lead your organization more effectively and get better results.

Schedule a call to learn how we can help


 

Session & Timing

Topics

Session Outcomes

Session 1 

3 HOURS

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 

3 HOURS

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 

3 HOURS

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 

3 HOURS

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 

3 HOURS

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 planning 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!


strategic-planning-phase-1

Post-work 

Once you’ve completed your virtual strategy sessions, the planning work is not over. It’s important to make sure that prior to starting phase 2 (your implementation cycle) 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 (See our infographics of Phases 2 & 3 of the strategic planning process)  

 

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 favorites 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, to 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 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 

 

Phases 2 & 3 of Strategic Planning

As mentioned above, strategic planning is cyclical. An optimal strategic plan is living, and is not a document that sits on a shelf (or a file that lives on your desktop) to be revisited only once a year. 

While the strategic planning cycle contains meetings and documentation, it’s equally important to incorporate systems and processes that will help your organization develop and maintain a culture that will successfully implement your strategic plan.

Phases 2 & 3 of the planning cycle will help your organization cascade your strategy throughout your organization; align your entire organization towards one future destination; track, monitor & revise your plan; and build your leadership capacity. 

 

strategic-planning-phase-2


 

strategic-planning-phase-3

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