Strategic Facilitation

Using design thinking, our strategic planners help you get buy-in and results

If the thought of strategic planning conjures up images of boring rooms with fluorescent lighting, pointless conversations that go in circles and reams of data launching strategic plans that include no new ideas, we’re here to set you free.

If your vision statement could hang on the wall of any other company, if your strategy makes dated assumptions about your customers and if your last plan included tremendous detail that resulted in few accomplishments, it’s time for a new approach.

We think it’s time to declare traditional strategic planning sessions dead.

Using design thinking, our strategic planners help you get buy-in and results

 

Strategic planning with a design thinking approach

Our strategic planners take a different approach to strategic planning, applying design thinking principles to help you:

  • Reconnect with users’ needs
  • Identify your barriers to meeting those needs
  • Brainstorm solutions to overcome those barriers
  • Create a plan you can actually implement successfully
  • Check in to ensure you are on track

By putting your customers (a.k.a. buyers, users, members) at the core of your strategic planning process, we help ensure that your plan delivers more than the same-old-same-old blah-blah-blah. We want you to walk away with a strategic plan that helps you move your organization forward.

Strategic planning with a design thinking approach

Strategic planning services

To deliver strategic planning processes that generate buy-in and get results, Blue Door Consulting’s strategic planners provide a variety of services:

Market research

A strategic planning process centered on data about internal and external customers helps your team focus on strategies that deliver the greatest return. Our market research team can help you gather customer insights to drive the strategic planning process.

Data analysis and data visualization

Let’s face it. We’ve all seen endless slide decks with mountains of data, but realized that no one really understands the full picture. That’s why we’re strong believers in a two-step process for data preparation:

  1. Our data analysts can help your team complete required data analysis to prepare for the strategic planning session.
  2. Our design team can help you find new ways to visualize the data. Data visualization – turning statistics into pictures – makes the story the data is telling more accessible to everyone in the room.

Creating a more accessible story equips your team to understand the true barriers and brainstorm a wider range of solutions to existing problems

Strategic facilitation

Prepped with customer insights, visually prepared, our strategic planners will take you through a different kind of strategic planning process.

  • For organizations who want to ensure customer needs and expectations are at the core of the strategic planning processes, our strategic facilitation includes ideation sessions (a.k.a. jams) that produce future-focused visions for the organization. (Alternatively, these exercises can be completed by senior leaders alone.) Customer, employee and leadership groups present these visions visually, painting pictures of what they hope the future will look like.
  • Through strategic facilitation sessions, senior leaders are asked to identify themes in these visualizations. Those themes inspire a vision for the future. Our strategic planners focus on addressing the most pressing issues honestly.

Storytelling

The most effective strategic plans are those in which everyone in the organization can visualize the future and each person in the organization understands how they contribute to it. We help you put the strategic plan into story format to streamline its adoption and help all team members identify their role in achieving it.

Strategic planning process

Our strategic planning process follows a three-step, replicable process: Listen and learn. Plan. Act.

  1. Listen and learn – We’ll gather market research and identify consumer insights through data analysis and data visualization.
    • By the end of this phase, expect your planning team to have identified key issues the organization will need to address in the future.
    • The value of this phase is that your team enters the planning phase of the process shared understanding of the key questions to address as part of the planning process.
    • Key issues identified in this phase will shape the agenda for facilitated planning sessions in the planning phase.
  2. Plan – We’ll conduct facilitated sessions engaging customers, employees and/or senior leaders in visualizing the future of the organization, articulating its mission and values and identifying the strategies that will take your organization to the next level.
    • By the end of this phase, expect your planning team to have a draft strategic plan, complete with strategies, tactics and responsibilities for achieving the plan.
    • The value of this phase is that it includes both brainstorming and prioritization required to meet emerging challenges AND develop a plan you can implement.
    • The first series of sessions will focus on visualizing the organization’s future – brainstorming what could be.
    • The second series will focus on setting priorities – identifying what key strategies the organization will employ to achieve the vision.
    • The strategic plan developed in this phase will shape the organization’s activities for years to come. We’ll guide your team in developing an action plan with tactics and success measures required to bring the strategic plan to life.
Strategic planning process

3. Act – You'll implement the plan. Through quarterly check-ins, we’ll review the measurements and progress.

    • By the end of this phase, you will have completed portions of the strategic plan and made adjustments as needed.
    • The value of this phase is accountability to keep the strategic plan on track.
    • The activities and accountability from this phase will position the organization to achieve its long-term goals.
In true design thinking fashion (where iteration and continuous improvement are valued), we encourage you to repeat the process again and again – listening and learning from users to ensure that your next steps will keep you on track to make your vision a reality.

Choosing a strategic planning partner

If you’re looking for a strategic planning partner who recognizes that the process is a means to an end, who values buy-in and believes that making choices in the best interests of your customers will put you on the path to success, please contact us for a complimentary, one-hour consultation.

Choosing a strategic planning partner