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Seb Anthony

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Business Objectives Exercise


Hi Everyone

I have been asked to run a short session, no more than 1 hour, for 80 staff at our staff conference on the businesses 8 new objectives that are being launched on the day. It's the first time I've ever had to run a session with such a large group and to be be honest I'm having a bit of a panic over what to do.

I want to keep the session as clear and simple as possible and focus it on either what staff think we need to do to achieve the objectives or someway of getting them to visualise what achieving the objectives would actually look/feel like.

If anyone has any ideas or advice on how I could approach this or can advise on anything they have used previously or resources that would help me it would be much appreciated - I only have a couple of days to finalise everything.


Rachel Goodsell

5 Responses

  1. Keep it simple
    Hi Rachel

    1 hour is not a lot of time, so nothing too complicated. You could split them into groups of 10. Try and get a mixture of different departments/levels in each group. Give the groups one objective each and get them to discuss how their department can contribute to that objective and what actions they would need to take. If you want to inject a bit of fun, they can present the results of their discussions in different ways e.g. draw a poster, write a poem etc.

    Good luck


  2. one hour for 8 objectives
    Rachel – wow quite a challenge. Here’s a slight twist to Sue’s idea. I would suggest 10 groups. Start the whole session with some visioning of the achievement of these objectives, then break into groups. One group working on one of the eight objectives (so that all are covered) – ask them to mind map their vision of that objective and ideas on how it can be achieved, what things might get in the way, what might need to be done differently, new activities etc. One group to mindmap ‘the vision’ from the perspective of the key stakeholders – internally and externally – i.e. what indicators will there be to the success of these new objectives and the final group to mind-map how focus can be maintained on these new iniatives, suggested methods for recognising achievements, incentives, communication and evaluation of their effectiveness. Allow about 30 minutes for this. Then suggest that you have a gallery where all delegates can view the various mindmaps and take notes for their own personal reference (this should be set up before viewing see later point). One member of the group (and this will need to be alternated to allow everyone to view) to stay with their group’s mind-map to answer any questions or points of clarification for others. Allow about 15 minutes for this part and encourage people to ask questions, stimulate ideas etc. At the end of the viewing ask each person to identify on a post-it (anonymous or named whichever you think most beneficial) at least one thing that they will do differently to support these objectives and to place their post it in the allocated area – perhaps called ‘commitment and inspiration’. Leave the mind-maps and post its up for the rest of the day and then act upon them as appropriate – or identified by the final group!

  3. Balance reflection with action planning
    I’m intrigued about the agenda of the person who asked you to run this session. What you do depends in part on the outcome they are looking for.

    Putting that to one side, I am wondering what could be done so that participants end your session with a sense of purpose, and a concrete sense of possibility and what they can do.

    So I would be tempted to ask individuals to name what needs of their own, then their role, then their department, might be met by each business objective. I would ask what personally speaks to them or inspires them about each objective. And I would ask what action they would be willing to take personally to support each objective. They could also consider what their immediate team could do to support each objective – this last could be done in group discussion.

    I would want to balance reflection with action planning – personal first, then group.

    Cheers. Alexander

  4. Thank You !
    Thank you for all your advice it’s been really helpful. I have decided to keep the exercise very simple and make employees aware that it’s only the start of the exercise which we will follow up through team meetings and Departments away days which should allow me to get the balance suggested. Thanks again!

  5. objectives
    I know the SMART acronym has become very cliched, but in my experience, SMART becomes a lip – service concept – well known but rarely used! Have you examples of non-SMART that you can give to groups to review? Have you some best-practice SMART examples they can then relate to? Is the senior leadrship in the organisation actively applying SMART? Contact me directly; happy to chat/chew the fat. [email protected]


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