Here’s more on strategic dialogue. You may want to read parts one and two before this one. They are below a couple of posts down.
The third dynamic actualizes the first two into concrete language, actionable initiatives and tactics, time frames and time lines, as well as stakeholder ownership. In other words, the aim of the dialogue is transformational action, not simply reflective/collective thinking. We must come away strategic dialogue sessions with work to be done that will move the organization forward into its newly established priorities.
When teams leave strategic dialogue sessions with concrete work that is to be accomplished, it energizes and legitimizes both the sessions and the team as it heads back to the workplace. Leaders must work to develop adaptive but concrete objectives and goals that become the basis of both operational and project driven work. The key in this phase of the dialogue is to determine and agree upon the right level of detail.
For instance, is it the desire of the leader and the team to leave with detailed action steps for each piece of the strategy or to leave with mid-level objectives that each team member will “detail out” after the sessions? Knowing what level of specificity is desired, by the end of day two, is important for the success of the meetings.
Here’s the deal: Strategic dialogue that doesn’t lead to action is like a bike with one pedal.