Are you curious about what happens when a team of strategists and creative thinkers get together for an off-site? We took a radically different approach to refine our company strategy. During our bi-annual off-site called TOF: “Temporary Office Fronteer”, we had all employees revise our strategy. We were creative, playful, and serious. Through this post, we hope that other firms can learn from our approach and start to create bold strategies for progress.
Why co-create your strategy together?
Here’s why we believe strategy should go beyond management, and should be co-created with all employees:
Resonance and ownership: by all contributing to the strategy, everyone feels immediate ownership. For instance, we got a team to sharpen our company values. Because everyone worked on these values, they started to live immediately.
Original and practical: by getting all departments to work together, we get more original ideas and also ideas that can be practically executed. For instance, we got a team to look at knowledge sharing. Their solution was practical (once a month) and original (combining it with a pizza party).
Criticism and constructive ideas: employees need to live and breathe the strategy. We got open-feedback and honest conversations about our beliefs and behaviours. Especially, our younger colleagues challenged us on the industries and clients we work with and pushed us to consider saying no to more clients.
How to co-create internally?
Here are some of the tools we used to co-create our strategy:
Reflect through ‘film-making’: the first day was about reflection. We asked teams to shoot a 5-minute video as a mockumentary on various aspects of our strategy. This allowed the core issues to come to the surface in a positive and creative way.
Co-creation sessions: the next day we broke off into teams, all working on a certain part of the strategy. The teams got post-it notes and worked on generating as many ideas as possible, and later vote on the best suggestions. These ideas were created into concepts. Later, the teams visited each other to provide external feedback. The final ideas were presented during the presentation night.
What did we achieve through the co-creation session?
Here are some examples of output that we co-created together:
Ethics: We developed a “client ethics decision tree” that filters clients based on the industry they operate in, the project, and potential impact. This helps us to determine what projects we accept or reject as a consultancy.
Values: We revised our values (optimism, courage, progress, diversity, empathy, and integrity) and elected “value ambassadors”. A “value ambassador” is responsible for a value, and needs to ensure that this value continues to live & breathe in the company and our projects.
If you want to learn more about co-creating your strategy together with your employees, please reach out to email@example.com for more information.