At every meeting attendees should think and talk about how each agenda item advances the organization’s strategic plan. John M. Bryson, who wrote the book on strategic planning, says your periodic planning efforts are wasted if you don’t think strategically about them—constantly.

To achieve this strategic thinking, leaders need to make time in agendas packed with reports and other material that wastes the time and/or pay of those present. Here’s how:

Agenda: Allocate half the allotted time to strategic thinking, which involves doing three things in the context of each of your strategic plan items:

Asking questions to identify and clarify problems
Finding new ways to think about opportunities and challenges
Drawing on the possibly hidden knowledge and talents of your colleagues and stakeholders

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