Are you preparing for your annual executive retreat? Will you get the necessary return on investment from the multiple days that you and your executive team spend huddled in a conference room?

One way to get the meeting off to a quick start is to have each participant create his or her own SWOT analysis.  This will provide a starting point for discussion and collaboration.

Once each team member has presented their SWOTs, you can identify duplicates and combine the lists during your strategy session.  Have a facilitator work with the group to build consensus around the combined list. Once you have your finished SWOT analysis you can begin the business planning process.

Another resource for planning that I have used comes from the book,  Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish.  Verne provides a great one page strategic planning format which you can use once you have developed your SWOT analysis.

The ultimate goal of the planning session is to have each participant be able to clearly articulate what they are accountable and responsible for the next year AND how their initiatives will impact the overall success of the organization.

Click here to download Verne Harnish’s form for free.

Image Credit: The Stock Exchange ( User: arinas74