Strategy Workshops should be held in a neutral location, ideally away from the business’ offices. This helps to reduce the possibility of interruption and, more importantly, to move the participants out of their own environment, or ‘comfort zone’.
Using a neutral location also aids facilitation, as the facilitator is able to set the room up in advance, making it as ‘user friendly’ as possible. The seating positions of the individuals involved are critical to the Oval Mapping process. People are seated in a semi-circle facing a wall where ideas, issues and options are posed.
Some organisations combine the strategy workshops with team building activities and use the opportunity to have a ‘corporate retreat’ where they book a hotel for a weekend or a long-weekend and the participants get involved with other activities as well as the strategic work. This works best for strategic reviews rather than initial strategy development.