Organizing and conducting workshops is challenging; particularly when it comes to addressing such important issues as corporate strategy development and implementation. After all, the results of strategy workshops can have major impact on the company’s future performance—positively or negatively. New business ideas developed in workshops can lead to continued success in the market place. Half-hearted, subjective analyses, on the other hand, can cause wrong assessments of changes in the business environment and, subsequently, missing out on key trends and opportunities. Therefore, here are 10 tips on how to get the most out of your next strategy workshop.

The times when corporate strategies were strictly confidential and only known to a small circle of top executives are gone for good. Not only employees and customers,but also investors are increasingly demanding transparency regarding the future goals and plans of companies – and not at all to the disadvantage of the companies.

In the relevant management literature, the distribution of knowledge within companies is often described with a metaphor which sounds plausible, particularly after the summer holidays: knowledge tends to form islands—in the minds of employees, that is. What sounds like a sunny working climate actually holds some serious risks. After all, islands are not connected to the mainland; they may go under and disappear from the map. Less metaphorically speaking: the brightest minds with the most technical expertise may stay aside the communication flows of their organizations, unable or unwilling to contribute to strategy processes. In the worst case, they may even leave the company along with all their know-how.What does the island-like distribution of knowledge mean for the strategy process of your organization? How can a uniform, communicative, and purposeful strategy process “bring on board” everyone responsible and benefit from their knowledge?

What do have companies like IBM, Philips, Unilever (Dove), and McKinsey & Company in common? They are all considered thought leaders within their industries. A position which they have attained over many years through large-scale content management programs and hard, dedicated work. But what exactly is it that distinguishes these few "true" thought leaders from the majority of self-proclaimed and wannabe thought leaders who use various publishing channels to convince potential customers of their skills and know-how?

Increasing market share by 5%, cutting production costs by 10%, developing new business segments, investing in R&D projects -Sounds familiar? Well, that’s hardly surprising, as most strategic plans consist of such lists of goals and measures. The bullet list format is still standard, although the problems associated with it have been well-known for quite some time.