Plan For The Future By Going There – The Power Of Retrospective Team Planning


Planning can be tough … right? 

Getting everyone on the same page and charting a path to the future is not an easy task and can be a challenging exercise under the best circumstance. The pressure to solve tough challenges is something that every team has to overcome. 

Yet planning is essential and the level of your team\’s ability to plan to resolve complex challenges just may determine its success.  Even the most efficient, motivated team will fail if the plan is flawed or if the goals are not nearly laid out. 

Another, often overlooked aspect of planning is getting the buy-in of the team. When planning is done externally or by a small part of the team, the rest of the team can feel left out or not consulted and may not agree or buy-in to the plan or the outcomes. 

In addition, planning mechanisms and techniques differ widely and different people plan in different ways. 

So how do we ensure that planning is effective, that we focus on the correct goals within the framework of the constraints at hand and that we get buy in from our team. 

We have a great technique that we\’ve used for years and that works every time …

So how does it work? 

The basic idea is to start from the end. OK that sounds like nonsense but bear with me. By celebrating a future victory we allow ourselves to envisage the success and triumph of the completed outcome. 

By placing our team in the space of completion, we are see the successful outcome. Then by working backwards we focus on how to get there.

This has worked successfully for hundreds of companies over 20 years for companies that have completed our Newsroom Challenge team build. 

It goes something like this:

  • teams are given a required outcome, ie – increase sales by 10%, introduce a new product or carry out a successful merger …
  • then each team must create a broadsheet newspaper which is future-dated to the required day of completion of the task ie. say 6 months time
  • Each team must then fill that newspaper with the happy news about how they solved the problem.
  • Teams must specify in detail how they achieved the required outcome in a series of articles and headlines. Fun creative elements include a weather report and adverts.
  • At the end of the exercise each team must present their Newspaper to the whole group, the best team is the winner.
  • The newspapers can be hung on the wall as a reminder of the ideas each team came up with AND a planning document can be created with all of the best ideas of each team.
  • In addition – on the day specified on the newspaper, a follow up meeting can be held to assess whether the team stuck to their plan.

So the real magic to this exercise is the COMMITMENT created by visualising the end goal.

If you would like to try this activity, contact us and let us set it up for you.

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