1 critical number to monitor before a strategic planning meeting

firm operations growth Feb 13, 2020

Next up? Strategic Planning

Did you catch Bill Murray's Super Bowl commercial? The movie Groundhog Day reminds me of the Employee Benefits lifecycle. We recover from the "busy season" and launch into the "strategic planning" cycle with clients. Rinse and repeat.

Didn't we just update that PowerPoint deck? Erg. Here we go again.

There's a number I'd like you to pay attention to as you're collaborating with your team for this next phase in the Benefits cycle.

What is your thinking to formatting ratio?

I've noticed that some teams spend more time formatting their PowerPoint to look strategic than thinking strategically about their client's priorities. 🤔

Where would your clients fall on the chart?

It's important to present ideas in a modern and professional format. However...

Clients don't hire you to create PowerPoints. They want your guidance and PowerPoint (or whatever you use) is simply a tool to support a strategic conversation.

You might be too light on thinking time if:

  • Someone on the team is "working on the deck" before you've discussed your strategy to help the client, well, strategize.
  • The presentation includes everything you can offer and the logo of every innovative benefits solution. The client wants you to lead them, not bring out the equivalent of the 100-page Cheesecake Factory menu. This feels risky to some of you, but edit, edit, edit.
  • The strategy meeting is on the calendar, but you haven't scheduled time to really prep with your team. For new team members and/or complex clients you might rehearse to position everyone for success.
  • You haven't factored in the team's (yours and the client's) experience levels and mindset. Industry veterans typically don't realize how their desire to protect the benefits program from disruption is a roadblock to progress. How will this impact your client, if at all? #blindspot

I'll be sharing tips for planning, facilitating and following-up on strategy meetings over the next month. Please reach out via LinkedIn or email [email protected] if you'd like to contribute to this discussion. 

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