Cobalt Communications The Art + Science of Understanding

Strategic Meetings

A typical business meeting is an exercise in futility — little gets done and time is wasted. This can’t happen in a strategic meeting, which, when organized and conducted thoughtfully, can serve as an excellent vehicle to connect vision to action, facilitate discussion, and lead to a comprehensive plan to achieve company goals. Strategic meetings can take many forms, but they have common elements: a clear objective that needs to be accomplished at the conclusion of the event and participants who are critical to meeting that objective. This could be making a decision, developing a plan, determining an implementation schedule, or identifying risks. Count on Cobalt to help you design, manage and deliver strategic meetings of any size and format.
  • Change Management
    When your organization faces significant disruption, the programmatic steps to take are often quite clear, but you need to make sure the change is successful. A meeting to address and prepare for this change can ensure that the right information reaches the right people at the right time to build trust in leadership, encourage employee/team engagement, and create bias for action/behaviors to support rollout.
  • Function/Team Alignment
    Successful business teams drive efficiency and communication while maximizing productivity. Team members work together as a single unit to accomplish the goal at hand. Achieving this level of collaboration, however, requires clarification of purpose, vision, priorities, and roles. A team alignment meeting can bring this clarity, allowing team members to be involved and actively generate ideas, providing an opportunity to celebrate, reflect and acknowledge, and ensuring momentum toward a common mission.
  • Objectives Setting and Rollout
    Setting effective objectives is vital for the success of a team and an organization. Badly formulated objectives can steer employees in the wrong direction and cause them to question leadership. A strategic meeting can help team members distinguish goals, aims and objectives, define clear metrics, and establish realistic timelines.
  • Innovation Workshop
    More and more, companies seek breakthrough ideas to stay competitive. A proactive and ongoing approach to innovation can ensure a steady pipeline of ideas, the ability to identify the most fruitful ideas to advance, and a fail-fast-and-move-on mentality. Workshops dedicated to this process can give teams the time and intellectual space to break free from traditional ways of thinking, problem-solve, anticipate risk, and respond to change.
  • Simplification Workshop
    Sometimes, internal processes and systems become overly complex, hindering adoption and sapping productivity. Streamlining these systems can increase team efficiency, but they can also improve morale and engagement. In a simplification workshop, Cobalt works with team members and stakeholders to come up with new ways of working or improve existing processes.
  • Customer Experience Mapping
    Customer experience mapping is a process for discovering how potential customers or new users feel as they engage with your products or services along the full journey of their relationship with you. A dedicated meeting can help you identify the path that internal and external customers follow in their interactions and identify both risks and opportunities along the route.
  • Training Events
    When change happens, giving team members the tools they need to manage the change is critical to success. Applying the strategic meeting mindset to training events can result in better engagement, retention of learning, and development of collaborative learning relationships to strengthen teams.
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STRATEGIC MEETING SAMPLES

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Enabling the Acceleration Zone
The US headquarters of AstraZeneca made the investment in an “Acceleration Zone,” a strategic meeting approach and environment that would enable teams to more effectively devise and implement strategic change initiatives. Cobalt helped design train-the-strategic -facilitator sessions, including workbooks and materials to be used during training.
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Pull-Through Innovation Session
This one-day session brought together diverse stakeholders to innovate on how field sales could deliver on the full potential of AstraZeneca’s Market Access function. From researching and developing pre-reads to creating event materials and facilitating to writing the final executive report and recommendations, Cobalt helped deliver an action plan for change with engaged stakeholders already in place.
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A Strong National Team in a New Organizational Design
A new leader and a team of 6,000 from across the country came together for week-long national meeting after a major reorganization. An interactive, learning-based agenda enabled attendees to visualize the future of the organization and the impact they could have. Cobalt sat on the core planning team and was involved in all aspects of planning and executing the meeting.
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Changing Learning Methodologies to Match Changing Environments
When a once-predictable industry enters an era of constant change, team members must translate their knowledge of what satisfied customers in the past into anticipation of future customer needs. Cobalt helped develop a week-long training meeting for a national field team to help them better understand the changing environment and enable them with tools to serve customers in a new way.
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Enabling Strategic Leadership
A team of strategic managers had a problem: the leaders and teams they were deployed to weren’t using them as the strategic resources they were meant to be. This day-long strategy session identified what the team needed to stop, start and continue doing to ensure they could effectively communicate, demonstrate and deliver on the potential of their roles as strategic leaders for the organization.
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A Strategic Reporting Partner
A consulting group with an amazing reputation for on-point pricing strategies and product launch/lifecycle recommendations wanted executive reports and presentations to convey the same depth of knowledge and authority. Cobalt became a strategic partner, helping the group capture content during advisory boards and developing executive materials that effectively carried their thinking — and their brand — into the C-suite.
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A Strategic Look at Access
In 2007, healthcare access was a growing concern for organizations across the healthcare delivery landscape. At AstraZeneca, Employee Network Groups wanted to help increase awareness about the topic, especially as it related to cultural competence. At a one-day forum, a panel of experts convened for lively discussions and debate. Cobalt sat on the planning team and helped develop communications for the event.