MG RUSH Strategic PlanningTraining (3-day) provides intensive training that strengthens the principles, skills, tools, and confidence to successfully lead groups and teams toward consensual understanding, decisions, and action plans. 

Strategic Planning TrainingOur professional technique combines a behavioral science understanding of group performance with empirical research about information discovery, analysis, and decision-making. Over three days (plus preparatory reading and evening assignments), you will invest eight hours in exercises and demonstrations and sixteen hours practicing as a facilitator including, immersing yourself during recorded sessions.


Download Course Abstract, Agenda, and Schedule

Learn How To . . .

  • Launch your session with seven activities, none of which you can afford to skip
  • Understand and teach others the difference between “Mission” and “Vision”
  • Refresh and update Values and working assumptions
  • Categorize and the driving force behind the ‘categories’ of things
  • Use ‘temporal shift’ as a way of consolidating disparate views
  • Build and segregate three discrete types of Key Measures: goals, objectives, and assumptions
  • Convert fuzzy goals into SMART objectives
  • Simply and quickly prioritize
  • Leverage SWOT as two dimensions and NOT four lists hanging in flatland
  • Prevent people from identifying ‘Weaknesses’ as ‘Opportunities’ (for improvement)
  • Ascertain the personality of the group you are working with (eg, ‘reactive’)
  • Convert your SWOT analysis numerically, prioritizing hundreds of options
  • Link priorities to Key Measures that ensure your group reaches its Vision
  • Test proposed actions against Key Measures to ensure alignment
  • Identify potential gaps and risks
  • Manage and what to do with gaps and risks — including likely impact
  • Make assignments for roles, responsibilities, authorization, and support
  • Convert Roles and Responsibilities into project plans (eg, GANTT charts)
  • Develop a consensual communication’s plan so that stakeholders receive the same message
  • Wrap up your effort with four activities, none of which should be omitted

Career Benefits

MG RUSH Strategic Planning training improves your leadership capabilities and talents. Candidates include business/ strategic planning professionals, project/ product managers, change leaders, and group leads who need impeccable leadership skills and tools to support people who need to be responsible for the quality and results of their actions, initiatives, products, projects, programs, portfolios, and strategies.

MG RUSH curriculum is often used to make fast-track employees more valuable and to help experienced employees rediscover their passion that adds new value. Our approaches and tools reflect the modern organization: distributed, electronic, and multi-cultural, with a heavy emphasis on quality and continuous improvement.

People who need to know HOW TO lead meetings and prevent ramblings, such as strategic planning, prioritization, project planning, stage gate approvals, roles and responsibilities, quality initiatives, team charters, “cat-herding”, and group decision-making of any kind or purpose—regardless of background or experience.

OCT 13-15, 2020Orange County, CAClick Here

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DEC 14-16, 2020Charlotte, NCClick Here

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Course Goals

Upon completion, participants are able to apply structured facilitation technique to:

  1. Become active listeners and effective leaders from “boardroom to boiler room”.
  2. Build activities that ensure outputs are owned and integrated by the participants.
  3. Design and script meeting agenda steps, making it easier to galvanize consensus.
  4. Identify appropriate use of decision-making tools and idea generation approaches.
  5. Improve leadership preparatory activities and preparation of participants.
  6. Influence decision makers and others over whom you have no direct authority.
  7. Lead focused discussions, keep meetings on track, and get everyone to contribute rather than doing “who knows what” on their mobile devices.
  8. Manage conflict, ”problem people”, dysfunctional behavior, and mitigate political resistance.
  9. Prevent meeting scope creep and extended ramblings unrelated to your meeting objectives and deliverable.
  10. Transform meeting cultures where your participants show up unprepared, disinterested or unvested.

Agenda and Topics

Strategic Planning Training Curriculum


Launch Activities

  • Welcome—training purpose, scope, deliverables, agenda review, and ground rules
  • Controlling operational definitions; e.g., “consensus”
  • “Nobody is Smarter than Everybody”—capacity of teams and power of change
  • Consensus—the natural sequence of thoughts, words, and deeds:
        • Trivium—logic (WHY), rhetoric (WHAT), and grammar (HOW)
    • Exercise—expectations using break-out teams and creativity tool
  • Using the reference materials and getting online (cloud) access to resources

Leadership Consciousness

  • Groups versus teams—roles, titles, and egos
  • Meeting leadership and characteristics—facilitator versus methodologist
  • Group characteristics and clear thinking—output versus outcome
  • Project, program, and business unit goals—holarchial alignment
    • Exercise—what does DONE look like?

Facilitation Competence

  • Facilitation skills—group focus by removing distractions:
        • Presenting and communicating—substance over style, verbal disfluencies
        • Questioning—preparation, rhetorical precision, and sequencing
        • Active listening—contact, absorb, reflect, and confirm
        • Challenging—teaching participants how to make their thinking visible
        • Neutrality—content versus context
  • The ways people think—patterns of perception:
        • Cognitive biases and social styles
        • Groupthink and the voting fallacy
  • Opportunity through conflict—keeping conflict constructive
  • Group personality management: forming, storming, norming, and performing
  • Other areas of conflict—self fears and environmental factors
  • Three methods for resolving arguments while building consensus
  • Scheduling, energy boosters, and other participation tips
  • Summarizing the mandala of facilitator core competencies and behaviors


Facilitation Competence (continued)

  • Managing sixteen discrete personality types and keeping discussions on task:
        • Ground rules, non-verbal tips, and other interventions
        • Special treatment—dominators and quiet people
        • Contributing value of healthy argumentation and debate
        • Application of Myers-Brigg’s® and similar personality typing indicators
    • Discussion—other personalities and challenges experienced

Meeting Design Confidence

  • The differences between structured facilitation and “Kum-Bah-Yah”
  • Helping groups to make more informed decisions:
        • Differences between simple and complex; qualitative and quantitative decisions
  • Tool overview, characteristics, matrix, and selection:
        • Ease of use, resource requirements, benefits, and timing
        • ‘Peel the onion’—tools nested within tools:
    • Brainstorming exercise—diverge analyze converge
    • How to get agreement on purpose, definition, and simple prioritization
  • Ideation ground rules and value of using the book-end method
  • Special tools for a facilitator’s hip pocket:
        • DeBono’s Thinking Hats, SCAMPER, and Changing Perspectives:
    • Gap analysis demonstration—problem solving and solution stacks
    • Assignments for day-three, student-led sessions (recorded)
  • Other tools designed to improve project performance:
    • Exercise: Flexibility Matrix, Framing, and Perceptual Mapping
    • Exercise: Decision Matrix using bubble charts and multiple dimensions

Student Practice Session Immersion

    • Student-led practice sessions—facilitating a meeting (audio-video recorded session)
    • Oral student and instructor feedback
  • Extensive three-page evaluation to provide holistic feedback that integrates with each student’s growth needs, projects, and organizational expectations
  • Today’s review and tomorrow’s preview:
    • Assignments—recommended reading and preparation for tomorrow


Agendas: Professional Introduction and Wrap

  • Agenda concepts—building a reusable approach (ie, annotated agenda)
  • Introduction—seven activities that are a MUST for every meeting/ workshop
  • Review and wrap—four activities that are a MUST for every meeting/ workshop
  • Agenda construction (basics)
    • Simple versus annotated agenda demonstration
    • Participants package (ie, pre-read) demonstration
    • Meeting notes (an actual four-hour workshop) demonstration

Applied Facilitation—Planning Workshop Simulation

  • Planning workshop (ie, WHO Does WHAT and WHEN)—interactive student practice session covering ten agenda steps, new tools, and a start-to-finish understanding about the sequence of the steps and how they relate to each other:
  • Why are we here? (using the Coat of Arms tool)
  • Who are we? (using the Categorizing tool)
  • Where are we going? (using the Temporal Shift tool)
  • How do we measure our progress? (using the Scorecard tool)
  • What is our current situation? (using MG RUSH’s proprietary and quantitative SWOT analysis that is used to prioritize complex options such as portfolio management)
  • What do we do to reach our objectives? (narrative conversion of SWOT above)
  • Is it the right stuff to do? (using the Alignment tool)
  • Who does what? (using a Roles & Responsibilities tool)
  • What are we going to tell others? (using Guardian of Change tool)
  • Is everyone clear on assignments and next steps? (using the Review & Wrap tool)
  • Overview of other planning workshops and agendas including project planning considerations and approaches to problem-solving.

Student Skills and Immersion

    • Case Studies—facilitating a workshop (audio-video recorded session two)
  • Extensive four-page evaluation to provide holistic feedback that integrates with each student’s growth needs, projects, and organizational expectations
  • Class photos, contact information exchange, alumni passwords, alumni-only website, and resource review congratulations


Private classes may be customized for your own group or situation. Minimum private group size is four; maximum is fifteen. Private classes provide the best opportunity for us to tailor the curriculum for your company’s needs. 

Class dates are subject to change. Please check our Public Course Calendar for the most current sites and dates.

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(Ask about other dates. Occasionally, a private class client may permit non-competing persons to participate in their on-site classes. Private, on-site classes occur throughout the U.S. and World.)

Participants also receive our copyrighted reference manual plus session leader templates and workshop tools for alumni use and distribution. Numerous private companies and governmental bodies have each sent dozens of participants through our core curriculum. Contact us today for details, arrangements, or for other questions.


The tuition per student:

  • 352 Strategic Planning Training (Leadership, Facilitation, and Methodology) 3-Day Class: USD$2,250.00

Fee includes training, materials, supplies, and lunch. Early Bird discount available up to one month before class. Additional pricing options available for Government and not-for-profit organizations, larger groups, and MG RUSH Alumni. (For additional pricing options please choose “Invoice Me” and add your request to the comment section or contact us at 1-630-954-5880). We limit public class size to provide each student with opportunities to practice and enable personal attention from the instructor. Transportation, meals outside of class, and lodging are the responsibility of the student.

Please inquire about private class pricing and available dates (for on-site, corporate needs). The on-site fee covers training, materials, and instructor travel. Ideally, on-site classes should contain six to twelve students.

Inquire About Private Class

If you would like to attend a specific class, plan to send someone(s), or are waiting on final approvals or confirmation, go ahead and call or write today to reserve a seat. Classes fill up quickly and are limited in size. If the class you select is full, we will notify you and place you on a waiting list if you choose.


To reserve a space, arrange for a private class, or inquire about this and other courses, please call us at 630-954-5880 or Register Now