HUONE recently organised a global strategy day in Helsinki with its board members and the management team. It was a crucial event for moving forward, especially after 2 years of battling the Covid-19 pandemic. The event was conducted in a hybrid format, with key members participating on-site. Read more!
In this article, you will learn
- why is organizing a strategy day important
- what to cover during the day/agenda
- how to get the most out of the day, have a better Return On Investment (ROI)
- Example Agenda
Why organise a strategy day?
The answer to the question ‘why?’ shouldn’t be ‘because we had it last year.’ There could be many different reasons to organise a strategy day, such as having a new CEO, change in the organisation structure, celebrating success, and target setting. Most importantly, the answer should help you plan the content for the day, and decide who needs to be involved in the planning process.
For HUONE, this strategy day was crucial to kick-start the year, especially after 2 years of battling the Covid-19 pandemic. The focus has been ‘surviving’ so far but moving forward, it should be now about ‘thriving.’ Being in the meeting industry, and having B2B customers, HUONE had to pivot and try many new strategies. The day was focused on reviewing lessons from the past 2 years, realigning the concept, planning the finance short-term and long-term, as well as discussing the marketing and sales strategy for markets opening back.
(From left to right: Joni outsourced CFO; Markko, chairman of the board; Anu, member of the board; Ian Wu, Unit Head of HUONE Singapore; Louise Adolph, Unit Head of HUONE Copenhagen; Evon Blomstedt, group CEO; Jaakko Eskola, Unit Head of HUONE Helsinki)
What should you cover during the strategy day?
Because a strategy day often happens once a year, it is tempting to cram as much information as possible during the day when everyone’s in one place. Yes, facts and figures are important but it easily becomes too overwhelming. It is much more effective to pick 3 or 4 key topics to cover throughout the day, so that it is clear what the focus areas are. You can see the examples of these for HUONE in the example agenda below 🙂
Return on investment (ROI)
For better ROI, remember the pre-event, during, and post-event. Clear objective setting and preparation work before the event, as well as managing the energy level of the participants during the event, and a structured follow-up afterward. Also, if it’s the first time in a while, try to include also a more relaxed gathering time in the agenda as it is also one of the very important goals of strategy day.
It was successful mainly due to good preparations work from the presenters. Good objectives setting and expectations management. If I could do things differently next time, I would add in a couple of ‘physical exercise’ where the group can re-energise. 8am to 7pm is a very long day for brain work. We had no choice due having international participants flying in, otherwise I’d have it done in 2 days with shorter days. The main takeaway was: it was much-needed to see each other in-person; the whole day, we were in disbelief that we are actually all in the same room. -Evon Blomsted, Group CEO and Founder of HUONE
Example Agenda for a Strategy Day
When sharing the agenda for those participating, make sure there is at least a rough schedule of the day. Also, if there are different presenters, an external person involved, make sure to name the person next to the item, so it is clear who’s responsible for what (e.g. shown as XX in the example below).
- 08:00 Breakfast
- 08:30 Financial Year Operative Reviews
- OKR Development
- Units Performance: Marketing(XX), Sales (XX), Financial, Operations, and HR(XX)
- 09:30 Break
- 09:45 1. Finance Strategic Planning
- Review of Financial Impact of Covid-19
- Short Term and Long Term Finance Strategy
- 11:30 Lunch
- 12:00 2. Sales & Marketing Strategy
- Group Strategy
- Local strategy:
- HUONE Helsinki
- HUONE Copenhagen
- HUONE Singapore
- 14:45 Break
- 15:00 3. Concept – long term strategy (XX)
- Concept Impact of Covid-19 of HUONE
- Future Research & Development topics
- 17:00 HUONE Mission 2022 and Must-Do Summary
- 17:30 Dinner & Afterwork
- 19:00 Ends