Assuredly, organizational executives are known to go off-site to conduct strategic planning sessions, building consensus around vision and strategy to lead an organization to the future it seeks.
Yet infrequently, if ever, the Account Payable Department (or, some other function, process, activity or product) justifies off-site strategic planning sessions. They still need consensus around why that department (or, some other function, process, activity or product) exists, where they are going, and how they are going to measure their progress. To build consensual understanding around WHY something exists or WHY it is important, consider using our Purpose Tool. If used appropriately, Commander’s Intent (aka, the Purpose Tool) may be the second most frequently used workshop tool, after Brainstorming.
Purpose Tool Purpose
Purpose Tool Rationale
Provides the group a consensually built backdrop that can be appealed to. Helps galvanize consensus around analytical methods and decision-making that follow.
Purpose Tool Method
Either on one easel or two separate easels, in advance you should build out the visual prompt (preferably in a separate color), that “The Purpose of ____ is to . . . (ellipsis) So that . . . (ellipsis).”
- Prompt your participants with “The Purpose of ____ is to . . .”
- While scribing, print the last word from the previous input, prompt them audibly with “So that . . .” because you want to keep the energy high.
- Do not use hyphens as you capture, rather use commas as you are helping them build one, long run-on sentence.
- Do not wordsmith the results but be certain to reread, review, and confirm that they have created a statement that everyone can live with. Basically, you have created a strategic plan at the level of a business area or activity—why it is important.
- Review during the workshop as an appeal to ensure that the discussion stays on topic. If necessary, either take off topic discussion and ask that it be placed in the Issue Bin or go back and modify this statement to allow for its inclusion.
Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.
Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)
Want a free 10-minute break timer? Signup for our once-monthly newsletter HERE and receive a timer along with four other of our favorite facilitation tools, free.