3 Different Strategy Retreat Questions to Consider

3 Different Strategy Retreat Questions to Consider
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

Different Strategy Retreat Questions to Consider

The objective of most strategy retreats is to create a clear, believable, and implementable strategic plan to take the executive team and the company to the next level.  Strategy retreats can be great for organizational alignment and team building, but often those benefits are not maximized unless the right issues are fully uncovered and honestly addressed.  While the deliverable typically consists of the critical few strategic actions that will make the biggest impact (we like using a one page strategy communication map), too many leadership teams do not ask different strategy retreat questions to get at the heart of the matter.

The Importance of Strategic Clarity
Too many leadership teams do not invest the time required to create an aligned and winning strategy.  That is a mistake.  Strategies matter.

  • Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for up to 31% of the difference between high and low performing organizations in terms of revenue growth, profitability, customer loyalty, and employee engagement.
  • Strategic clarity however, is not as easy as it sounds.  Our research also found that while most agree that a winning strategy is of utmost importance, two-thirds disagree about or misunderstand the specific next steps necessary to execute it at their own organization.

Ask Different Strategy Retreat Questions to Get It Right
If you are in charge of Strategic Planning Retreat Facilitation or for developing a strategy for your team or company, invest enough time with the right stakeholders to ask and answer different strategy retreat questions to ensure your team:

Three Different Strategy Retreat Questions to Consider
Here are three different strategy retreat questions to consider at your next strategic planning session to shake things up a bit:

  1. What Would Someone from the Outside Do If They Were in Charge?
    We have always liked this question. Imagine that a new leader came in or that another company just acquired your organization.  What would they start, stop, and continue doing based upon their new and fresh perspective?

    Because organizations often get so immersed in “the way things have always been done,” it can be difficult to consider new and innovative ways to answer big strategic questions or solve touchy strategic problems.

    Try to break the established code of how “it’s always been done” so you can come up with more innovative solutions.  Challenge yourself to explain the rationale for current assumptions, beliefs, and practices.  Challenge past solutions and test new approaches.

    Often you’ll find that the reason you set things up as you did has become obsolete, ineffective, or irrelevant.

  2. What Part of the Business Does Not Fit?
    Examine all aspects of your partnerships, products, and services. They should mesh in a way that serves the organization as a whole. Is there a piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit your go-to-market strategy or unique value proposition?

    Then reassess its importance relative to the other activities of the business.  Maybe the company would work more effectively and efficiently without it.  Then ask yourself, is there a critical component that is missing or being underutilized?

    A company and its strategic plan can only do so much at once while performing at a high level.  A well-crafted strategy is ruthless in terms of focus, energy, and investment.  Rationalize wherever you can.

    In our experience, more than two or three big bets are too many.

  3. Is Our Corporate Culture Helping or Hindering Our Strategic Ambitions?
    Strategy must go through culture to be implemented. Think of culture as how work gets done — the collective attitude, assumptions, purpose, and behaviors of a company’s workforce. Culture exists in every company whether by design or by default.

    Your job as a leader is to assess your organizational culture and ensure that it helps to move your strategy forward, not impede its progress. Smart leaders purposefully craft and nurture a culture that will align with and support their company’s unique organizational goals across ten research-backed dimensions of culture.

    Creating organizational alignment between strategy and culture allows everyone to act with a more unified mindset. If, for instance, your strategy calls for a market leader approach to product development, but your organizational culture is based upon only introducing new products and services after the market has shown they work, your culture will be misaligned with your strategy.

    The same could be said about risk tolerance.  If your culture takes pride in eliminating all risks prior to moving forward with decisions, but your strategy needs the organization to embrace taking chances, your decision making culture and strategic objectives will be at odds.

The Bottom Line
A well-crafted strategy provides a meaningful road map for the future and guides critical business decisions and resource allocation. Take the time to think it through from all angles. Sound planning will result in sound business.

If this made you question the effectiveness of your last strategy retreat, download Should You Facilitate Your Own Strategy Retreat?

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance