• Schedule 2 Days Off-site.  The first day should be all about strategic thinking and discussion.   The second day will be all about execution with focus on your Annual Priorities and Q1 plan.  Remove distractions by scheduling time off-site as a team.
  • Open your minds.  Many times, people come to the session thinking they know what the results will be.  Make sure you are asking the right questions.  What are the questions you are afraid to ask (and therefore must!)?
  • Concentrate on your 3-5 Year Plan.  Spend some time on Day 1 to make sure you have a 3-5 Year Plan that includes at least one Winning Move (something that could potentially 2x your business). 
  • Pick another Strategic Topic.  On Day 1 you should also be able to discuss another strategic area that needs attention.  Do you need to finalize Core Values?  Start on your BHAG?  Work through some People issues?
  • Determine a Destination Postcard.  At the end of Day 1, use the Time Machine Exercise to visualize a successful year.  At the end of 2013, what would you like to step out of your Time Machine and see? 
  • Finalize your Annual Priorities.  At the beginning of Day 2, use your Destination Postcard to determine 3-5 actionable Annual Priorities.  Think through what would need to happen in each quarter of the year to keep you on track to achieving your goals.
  • Finalize your Q1 Plan.  By the end of Day 2, you should have also determined your 3-5 Company Priorities for Q1, as well as each person's 3-5 Personal Priorities.
  • Reinvigorate your Rhythms.  Make sure the team leaves the session with a clear picture of the execution Rhythms.  Weekly Meetings should be established to reinforce execution on the Q1 Plan.  Strategic thinking rhythms should be established to continue work on bigger picture items.  For example, if you are still working on your Core Values, make sure you have established a meeting rhythm to continue that work.

Check out our Annual Planning section in our Rhythm Resource Center


Learn more about Rhythm Systems Quarterly Planning Facilitators