Strategic Planning Can Be Fun
Stephanie Ringer (Owner) of Creative Workshop has made strategic planning fun!
WorkShop! As economic upheaval and international competition have affected everyone’s bottom line, there is one thing businesses have learned during the past year; that new problems demand new solutions. Business leaders are now taking this realization to the next inevitable step – namely, that new solutions require new ways of thinking.
“Strategic planning requires you to envision a future that is unbounded by what exists today. Doing this inside of your own office building with all of the reminders of what is today can be difficult. In my experience, the WorkShop has been the most productive space for strategic planning, because the fun, creative, and happy environment really invites participants to believe any future is possible,” Rita Ernst, facilitator/coach stated.
For years, WorkShop has been the target destination for companies who need a place to meet creatively and collaboratively. WorkShop takes pride on the dedicated service and cutting edge management techniques that’s made them Louisville’s foremost corporate education and meeting facility.
WorkShop, located at 2005 B Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky, currently occupies second-floor walk-up space with four creative meeting spaces that could easily be mistaken for a day care center.
The creative work spaces contain toys, books, stereos, and puzzles to get the creative juices flowing. And everywhere you turn, there are whiteboards, flipcharts and markers to capture the innovative ideas your team provides.
Aaron Evans of Humana says WorkShop has what he needs, when he needs it. Aaron discovers more items to use and wrap into the facilitation session each time he brings in a team. The last time he attended, he found the container full of costumes and props useful. This added a whole other dimension to their time at WorkShop and greatly increased the learning about their team members and their work.
Environment contributes to the outcome of a meeting by allowing teams and work groups to be comfortable and relaxed, while at the same time, stimulated and productive. At WorkShop, each meeting space provides the comforts of home paired with the tools of business.
“The atmosphere was energizing and the enthusiasm was contagious,” according to Karen Finlinson of Park Community Federal Credit Union.
WorkShop has facilitators that can help companies improve on skills such as team building, communication, process change, clarifying their goals and working through the process of strategic planning. All facilitators are welcome at WorkShop; even your own trainer or outside facilitator will find the environment inviting and productive.
As a seasoned facilitator, Whitney Bishop has held strategic planning sessions at many different locations. Whitney says that the meetings she facilitates at WorkShop are among the most productive, energetic and inspiring. “I attribute this to the environment, the staff and the all-inclusive nature of the experience. Everything I need to do the best job I can is within reach,” says Whitney.
Fritz Busch of Anthem brings his staff to WorkShop from 5 states. “We ALWAYS come to Louisville because we love the WorkShop. The opportunity to spin plates, wear funny hats, and play 70’s music is worth every penny. Beats a sterile conference room by a mile.”
Now more than ever, businesses have to spend some valuable time developing a strategic plan. New energy is needed, new sparks are being searched for and teams are very much in need of a little motivation.
Barry Younkie of Maker’s Mark takes his team to WorkShop and says, “If you ever do a meeting where you really want team members to come together, not feel inhibited and generate business-generating results, WorkShop is THE place.”
They pose the question, “Does your team share your vision?” That is an important question which CEOs face. Employees are being influenced negatively by watching the news, listening to talk radio and seeing a downward spiral in print. Companies are finding it necessary to try and think of ways to motivate their teams.
Strategic planning at WorkShop allows the company leader to use the whiteboards to: 1) Invite the team members to share their thoughts of what an “ideal year” would be; 2) Invite the team members to rate the board of visions to identify what is most important to them; and 3) Give the team members an opportunity to create a plan to reach each of the top three targets. A “shared vision” is ultimately established; the employees feel like they are a part of it; they understand their roles and responsibilities; and most of all, they agree to hold each other accountable for what they commit to do – thus, instilling ownership in the “Shared Vision.”
“Strategic planning is hard work for everyone involved and it can be unproductive to disrupt the energy and flow of the group to attend to logistics. At the WorkShop, they take such great care of the environment, allowing you as the facilitator to focus on the content and process of the work. From the well-stocked fridge and candy jars, to the timely and unobtrusive delivery of meals, the staff at the WorkShop is the perfect extra pair of hands that every meeting leader needs,” says Rita.
There are many different approaches to strategic planning, but creativity is the key. Creativity cannot be found in hotel meeting rooms, private conference rooms nor offices. WorkShop is a cost-effective solution to offsite meetings. You will find complimentary snacks and beverages included with every meeting space rental. We have thought of everything. All you need to provide is yourself, your team and a willingness to work a bit differently. It may be more cost-effective to train and rejuvenate your current employees than it is to hire new, retrain and develop trust.
Coaching, Facilitation, Retreats and Team Building. WorkShop has it all. www.creativeworkplace.com.