I delivered a strategy retreat this weekend for a healthcare organization. After I was hired, the Board members took the initiative and sent me their SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of their organization even before we arrived for the weekend. While they had very good ideas, they were taking an “outside-in” approach to strategy formulation.
There is a “rightly ordered” approach to strategy formulation, there is strategic thinking, strategic planning and strategic execution. We are naturally good at planning (which is the reason I received the SWOT analysis before the retreat) and not so good at the thinking (working from the inside-out). As far as execution goes, well, we have some room to grow their also.
While we used the SWOT analysis content during the retreat, we began the retreat by asking the question: “How do we improve the client’s condition” and doing some strategic thinking.