Tip 1.2 The team meets frequently (weekly is best) for strategic thinking

Instead of thinking about strategic planning it’s helpful to think about breaking planning sessions down into two parts: strategic thinking and execution planning. The 7 Strata framework developed by Gazelles International is one of the key tools guiding the strategic thinking agenda of a company.

The first step in completing the 7 Strata and working through the 4Ps (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) or 4 Es (Experience, Everyplace, Exchange, and Evangelism) is designating a strategic thinking team. Choose three to five people to meet for an hour or so each week to discuss each of the Strata and other issues of strategic importance.

It’s all about iterations: making a few decisions, testing them, and coming back to the table the following week for discussion.

Besides a few key members of a leadership team, you might include someone with specific industry or domain knowledge underpinning your strategy. It’s always important to have eyes on the new trends emerging in the market place.

The council doesn’t accomplish its work in isolation. The council members are expected to spend some time each week talking with customers and employees and checking out competitors, extracting insights and ideas to fuel their strategic thinking.

In the end strategic decisions need to be made, and it’s the job of the CEO to make them. Yet it’s advisable to recruit several pairs of eyes and to have frequent contact with the market to help you navigate.