Last week, I had the privilege of spending an entire day with the directors and executives of a highly-regarded architectural practice. The large practice has developed a great reputation over several decades for creating 'meaningful' architecture—buildings and spaces that 'fit' the surrounding environment, and that people enjoy living and working in. The job at hand was to facilitate a strategy development workshop, working with eleven capable and motivated men and women to select a course to guide the further growth and development of the practice. In essence, the day was about looking up and looking out.
Using the StratCross framework and summaries of PESTEL and SWOT analyses completed prior to the workshop, we got stuck in. Before we knew it, the time was 4:30pm and the intense but enjoyable workshop was over. As we packed up, several directors indicated that the workshop had been "hugely valuable", "challenging" and "galvanising", and that they were looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labour. On the way home, my thoughts wandered, reflecting on the day and why it had been so much fun. Here's a few observations that came to mind. You may find useful for your next retreat or planning session:
So, overall it was a good day, with some observations to boot. While most attendees came away hopeful of an even brighter future for the practice, they also realised that, despite a coherent strategy (to be written up in the coming days) and a commitment to execution once approved, success is not automatic—unlike the arrows in the picture imply. A realistic way to end the day.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.