Bringing fun into serious planning with your team

It is that time of year when many companies embark on strategic planning, budget planning, creative planning or even operational planning. The common term here is ‘planning’.

We’ve almost reached the end of financial year and focus for many of us shifts towards planning your future course whether that’s the next 12 months, three years or even longer.

So a question to you… how can you extract the creative and innovative potential in your team to develop a future-focused plan beyond your expectations?

If you are a regular reader of my blogs, you will know I am a firm believer in having fun at work.

So my answer to you… have fun in these planning sessions!

This does not mean to stop serious discussion and planning, it means to create an environment of fun and enjoyment that opens up discussion, ideas and confidence to contribute.

Strategic planning is a serious part of any business that I believe can produce some mind-blowing positive results if structured the right way.

So here are three ways to bring the fun into serious planning days and harness the potential in your team…

1. Find an offsite venue

As the saying goes ‘a change is as good as a holiday’.

If you want your team to think differently and creatively, a new and fresh environment can be a simple way to do this.

Like school excursions create fun and excitement amongst students, an offsite venue will also build excitement and positivity which are great ingredients for creativity and innovation.

An offsite venue does not always mean an overnight stay or a regional retreat. There are many funky meeting spaces that could transform your day-long meeting into one of the best planning sessions you have had.

2. Inject some team building

Starting your planning day with a team building activity is an energising way to set up your group for a productive, innovative and thoughtful day ahead.

There are some great and fun activities that take 15 to 30 minutes which will get your team in a positive frame of mind.

Why not theme these ‘energiser’ team building events to the purpose of your planning session.

It’s all about inspiring creative thinking and maximising the potential within your team.

3. Create a structured agenda

A well-structured agenda for your planning session is a must.

Surprisingly, this is one of the most commonly overlooked elements of planning sessions.

An agenda will ensure a purposeful process to the day, keep everyone on track and provide a good tool to help participants prepare for their contribution.

The best agendas have a balance of fun, instructive, informative and participative sessions.

Also, do not underestimate the power in including some personal development sessions into the agenda to further inspire and nurture your team members.

These will be sure to benefit your team’s performance after these planning days as well as during the day.

So to bring some fun into your next strategic planning session, try finding an offsite venue, injecting a team building activity and creating a well-structured agenda.

It will not only bring fun, excitement and positivity towards the planning session, but it will show you are considering the importance of your team and maximising their potential.

If you can create a culture and environment where your team feels respected and appreciated, they will deliver the commitment you desire and some very impressive planning outcomes.

As Richard Branson says… “Your clients are not the most important, your team is most important. Look after your team and they will look after your clients”.             

Dwain Richardson, Managing Director, Corporate Challenge Events

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