organization development team building leadership expert michael cardus

Planning requires people in companies to make their best guess on what to focus on and what not to focus on. Often we get lost is a sea of abstraction and big bold statement like: Increase Communication, Better Team Work, More Profits, Innovate Product and Service Lines … then get frustrated when next year the same big bold topics emerge and like last year no one is able to develop any goals and metrics to achieve in reference to those statements.

Taking some time to frame the planning is a way that asks people to think in real work, while allowing them to reach for ‘miracle solutions’ is something I have found effective.

On to the Inquiry

The questions below I use in the Distinctive : Working Well : 100 Days Better process. This year in a yearly strategic planning meeting I shifted the 100 days better to 1 year better. It worked pretty well…try it and let me know what was useful.

  • When we meet again next year, what accomplishments would you be proud to have been a part of?
  • Looking at what makes the company distinctive and what is working well…what areas of the business could be better? What will be happening, in reference to the work, when they are better?
  • Imagine that you leave here today, go home and do what you normally do in the evening. While you are asleep a miracle happens…Whatever the current largest problem is to you or the company in doing your best work and being more effective is gone. BUT because you were asleep you were unaware that this has happened…What would be the first tangible thing you would notice at work which makes you realize that this miracle has happened?
  • What are other companies and places that you admire for their work doing that we are not doing? What if we could do those things; what would that look like?
  • What small improvement could you make to your work and department (small meaning could be accomplished in less than 72 hours)?


Having a solid strategic plan will allow your company and team to flourish and accomplish needed results. You must have a format and a process that is effective. NOISE analysis is that format.

Contact Mike to schedule a strategic planning meeting that will deliver results and engaged staff that are part-of the plan.