What is a strategy? For me strategy is the plan that incorporatest the essential milestones in a given timeframe to go towards the fulfillment of the mission.
What is it good for? As far as I understood the strategy of a Holacracy circle is basicly a tool. A tool helping practical decisions or when there are questions to be clarified.
It certainly should have a focus. It is good if there are issues beside the focus wich have emphasis on. I read that it is practical to define what the strategic focus has emphasis over.
As I reed in the constitution the Lead link has the authority to define the strategy of the circle. I assume this authority is useful when circle members do not have the skills to plan together. I prefer to facilitate planning together.
To define a strategic focus I call for a retrospective meeting. This type of meeting helps clarifying the pros and the cons of the current operation and helps alligning with the mission time to time. I ask a series of questions:
- What do we consider positive about the current operation? What goals have we reached? What problems ha we solved?
- What do we consider positive about the current operation? What problems do we have? What goals are we still far from?
- What are we missing in the current operation that could make a significant difference if it was avilable? What ideas have we had already about improving our operation?
- What are we grateful for regarding the past interval/months/quarter?
Answering these questions give the benefits of being conscious about our:
- successes, achievements, milestones
- ideas we already for improvement
I have to point out that the fourth question aims to touch our humane dimension to motivate and connects us with the issues previously uncovered and strengthen our allignment.
I usually work with a whiteboard, and after asking all these questions we have a list of suggestions that are waiting to be prioritized. The answers are mainly coming from the third question (suggestions, things we miss, ideas we already had).
When prioritizing, I ask all role filling people to mark the issues that they find it essential to focus on. It may be one or two rounds as you prefer. At the end we have a one word or one sentence focus, and one to three more issues that have a secondary emphasis.
And you? What are your practices? What questions do you use? Are you a lead link defining strategy alone or with some consulting? Or do you work it out together?