While we are whole-hearted proponents of fun strategic planning activities, that doesn’t mean every strategic planning workshop we design and facilitate has exactly the same type of fun. In fact, in some situations, we never get out the fun squeeze toys.
And we all know that toys are a universal signal that a strategy workshop is supposed to be fun.
Not really; just kidding.
There is a lot more to making a strategy workshop fun so that people want to participate the first time and in subsequent years. We detail all those ideas in 11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning.
4 Times to Avoid Toys during Fun Strategic Planning Activities
But back to strategy workshops and skipping the toys - here are four situations where we do not rush to put out toys:
1. The dynamic with the group doesn’t feel right
Sometimes, it is obvious that the participants are not jelling and funny is not the best thing to get them comfortable with each other.
2. It’s too cramped and cluttered in the room
We want a lot of square feet per person for a strategy workshop. Often, we wind up in a tiny room because it’s convenient, and everyone is on top of one another. In those situations, the last thing we need is to add to the clutter with toys.
3. The people may kill each other
Toys are meant to be fun. They are not meant to be weapons. When the strategy workshop participants are a little TOO aggressive with one another, someone could put an eye out by zinging a squeeze ball at a co-worker. If people can’t play nicely, NO TOYS.
4. We’re told "no funny stuff"
We have talked about situations where a client came to us before the workshop to say there was to be no funny stuff. In those cases, we don’t go to the toys – at least not right away!
Other than those four times
Beyond those four times, we’re all about the toys. And everything else that REALLY makes strategic planning a mentally stimulating experience! - Mike Brown
Yes, developing strategy can be fun . . . if you know the right ways to liven it up while still developing solid strategies! If you're intrigued by the possibilities, download our FREE eBook, "11 Fun Ideas for Strategic Planning."