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Friday, May 17, 2024

Inc & Co on Crafting Vision and Value: The Power of Effective Strategy Days

Strategy days might be the meeting you dread when it pops up in your calendar, seen as just another all-day meeting with no real outcome.

We heard from private equity group Inc & Co, who own brands such as Maker&Son, Skylab & Knomo London who recently held a strategy day for one of their brands with the end goal of creating a 12-month marketing plan. After reflection, they are sharing the wisdom of the steps taken to put the day together and how you can do something similar for your teams.

Set the Objectives

Before the teams arrive, remember the question, ‘What are we looking to get out of this?’.

The success of a strategy day hinges on clear objectives and preparation. Start by defining what you hope to achieve—aligning on a new company vision, planning a rebrand, or brainstorming ideas for upcoming campaigns. Then, organise an agenda and a few slides to keep you on track. Use real-world examples to keep things interesting and create talking points about your goal.

Ensure Activities are Interactive

As Inc & Co found, this is the most important part of the session. It’s a chance to throw job titles out of the window and let everyone have their opinions. Often, you’ll find ideas emerge that no one has even considered, and these form the base of your goals.

Breakout sessions into workshops where teams can tackle specific challenges or explore new ideas help to keep everyone active. Go back to basics with activities like word clouds, wipe boards & creative thinking with no limits.

Look at Challenges and Solutions

No strategy day goes without challenges—time constraints, divergent views, and information overload are common. Anticipate these challenges and plan solutions. For example, keep sessions timed strictly to avoid fatigue, use a facilitator to navigate conflicting opinions, and schedule breaks to give participants time to recharge.

At the end of each activity, it’s also important to relate the result back to your end goal. Are the team aligned better than when you started? Were the points made valid?

Lessons Learned

Reflecting on the recent strategy day, several lessons stood out.

Firstly, through discussions, they uncovered that the team needed to be more aligned with how the brand should be positioned moving forward than they had perhaps realised. They could take all the positives and negatives from the feedback and create actionable goals.

They also uncovered areas that team members still needed to consider, which could aid them in marketing the brand and allow them to go away energised to make the changes. Getting the team together led to discussions about the next strategy day and how, in an environment where things change so often, they should leave a manageable gap between them.

Call to Actions

This is where you ensure everyone involved goes away with an action, and it’s important to make them SMART.

Specific – Don’t create a fluffy goal. ‘Do more social’ is not what we’re looking for here. How many posts, what platform, and what content?

Measurable – How are you going to measure the success of the goal?

Achievable – Make sure you can reasonably accomplish it.

Relevant – This goal must align with the objectives you set yourself at the start of the session.

Time – Adding a deadline to your goal is the best way to ensure you hit it.

If you’ve got a strategy day coming up, consider using some of these points to guide you. If you’d like further help, feel free to contact the team at Inc & Co

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