3 Action Steps
This is a small-scale strategic planning session that helps groups and individuals to take action toward a desired change. It is often used at the end of a workshop or programme. The group discusses and agrees on a vision, then creates some action steps that will lead them towards that vision. The scope of the challenge is also defined, through discussion of the helpful and harmful factors influencing the group.
Explain the purpose of the session. That the group or individuals are going to set a vision of the near future, then discuss and define action steps to reach it.
Sitting comfortably, with notebooks or paper and pens, say something like this to the group:
Close your eyes and imagine it is 6 months from now. Imagine you have accomplished everything you set out to accomplish. Think about what you’ve made and done over the six months. What work is like. What your relationships are like. What makes you happy.
Give participants pens and paper. They now draw their vision of the future on the right-hand side of the paper. Restrict them to 4 or 5 different themes that make up this vision, using few words but as many visuals as they like.
If they are in groups, they should discuss their respective visions and define a shared group vision.
Across the top of the page ask them to write at least 5 helpful factors that will support them to realize their vision. These might be people, opportunities, technologies, situations, etc.
If they are in groups, they should discuss these and arrive at a consensus before moving on.
Across the bottom of the page ask them to write at least 5 supporting factors that will support them to realize their vision. Again, these might be people, opportunities, technologies, situations, etc.
Again, if they are in groups, they should discuss these and arrive at a consensus before moving on.
Now the group or individuals are going to discuss and define the action steps. Ask them to draw three boxes from the left of the paper to the vision on the right. This will be the three big steps they need to take to reach their vision.
If they are working as individuals then put them into pairs to discuss their steps. If they are in groups already, then they can discuss the steps as they have been doing.
They write a step in each box, concisely, but with as much detail as they need to make it clear to themselves and others.
To close the session go around the group asking everyone to state their vision and one (or all three) action steps. Ask each person: What is the first thing you are going to do when you get back to the office.