The Greek word σκέφτομαι (skéftomai – thinking) has the sense of contemplation, that is, more than just thinking as in this familiar image below. More like thinking with care or weighing up the impact of thoughts. From this word we get the word skéfto.
Over the years I have been on boards where strategy, its measurement and monitoring have been left to the CEO to lead; and where strategy was not a matter that was on the board agenda in regular (monthly) meetings.
I encourage us all to seriously think about how we can amend agendas to include strategy as a priority item on each board meeting.
Boards can learn how to ask questions of the executive team and management around matters rolled into their Strategic Plan. For example, if you have ten overarching objectives in your current strategic planning document, and your board meets ten or eleven times each year, you could consider a well thought out sixty minutes of discussion around each of these high level objectives at each Board meeting, and the entire Plan would be discussed throughout the year. To provide time for input from the CEO and executive team, even if the Board were to conduct that review of each item in the Plan over a two month period, the entire plan could be thoroughly discussed and re-invigorated every two years. This does not detract of course from the value of a formal annual Strategic Planning review.
However, too often we lay responsibility (blame) at the feet of the CEO and executive team if strategy is not achieved or seems to waver along the path the organisation sets. This is most unfair if the board itself is not taking care of the primary responsibilities of monitoring and oversight of the organisation’s strategy and strategic plan for which it is responsible.
In his well-known text on governance, Tricker describes the basic board functions working through management as:Continue reading “Strategic Planning Insights #1”