A3SP: One-Day Strategy Workshop

“So I guess we should let him go.” Quick glances were exchanged. After a few seconds two heads nodded slowly in agreement.The unease that clung to the room made way for relief.

“Perhaps we should also consider the other two?” continued the first speaker. The next answer followed a bit quicker: “Yes, we should.”

The above scene took place a few weeks ago. I had just taken three entrepreneurs through our one-day strategy workshop. At Roos & van de Werk we use a structured format that helps management-teams shape their strategy: A3SP. During the day we investigate present issues and opportunities (What are we going to do tomorrow?) as well as matters of long term importance such as a company’s core values, its BHAG, and its long term business goals. (Where are we headed and why?)

These one-day strategy workshops are a lot of fun. Especially for me since I just have to guide my clients through the process. Our clients get to do the hard work – the actual thinking and deciding – themselves. Regardless of how well prepared they are this can be a quite a task.

This particular session was not much different. These three business partners had started their own professional service company a few years ago. Their hard work, creativity and companionship had seen it flourish. Now they were ready to take the next leap: expand into Europe, take on the leading competitors in their industry and expand their line of services. We really had a lot of fun.

Afterwards we sat down for a beer and peanuts to evaluate the day’s results. Happy faces all around. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your own work today?”, I asked. 8, 8.5 and another 8. A pretty good job.

However an uneasy silence fell over the table. I noticed two words at the bottom of my notes: “all aboard?” At the start of the workshop I had made a list of all things that bothered them, things that kept them awake at night, things that needed attention fast. I call it my purge-list. All of the items had been purged – except this one.

“How about this item”, I asked, “didn’t we forget anything?”

Yes, we did.

As it turned out all three of them already decided for themselves that three of their employees did not qualify to be a part of the future of their company. They had to be let go. But nobody had voiced that opinion yet.

Like many other tough decisions, firing people is never easy – even if all involved tacitly agree that it’s something that should be done. But it ain’t over untill the fat lady sings even if it may take a while.

That’s why we make purge-lists. And have a beer afterwards.

One Reply to “A3SP: One-Day Strategy Workshop”

  1. Hi there, I would love to hear more about that one day workshop. Do you have any stuff I could go thru online?

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