(416) 461-0715 bwithrow@facilitators.com

Over the past twelve months we have facilitated 188 online meetings using Zoom. We have also facilitated sessions with Microsoft Teams, and Webex.

We have facilitated.

  • Growth strategies for eleven different businesses,
  • a Virtual HAZOP review,
  • an Advisory Board Meeting,
  • a Scenario Planning Exercise,
  • numerous ad hoc sessions on strategic issues,
  • and a working group on Elder Care.

In this short post we discuss using Zoom virtual meetings as part of a strategic planning process.

Virtual Strategic Planning

If COVID 19 were to disappear tomorrow everything would not just return to the way it was. There are distinct advantages to using virtual meetings as part of the strategy process. But you need to change the process to realize these benefits. The biggest changes are to the pace of the process and participation in the process.


Prior to COVID a two-day strategic planning retreat was common. We have facilitated hundreds of these. The retreat was where the senior team made their decisions. The stage before the retreat was pre-work, and the stage after was execution.

Virtual meetings change that. We no longer need to rely on one “event” to get everyone together. In an online world people can easily join in a zoom call from wherever they are. The two-day retreat that we all flew in for can now be a series of meetings.

This new pacing allows each session to be hyper-focused. It also allows for research, review, and revisions between sessions. When you are at a retreat you need to keep pushing ahead. You do the best you can with the information available. If an issue cannot be resolved on the spot it gets turned into an action item and gets pushed down the road.

Using a series of online meetings this research phase can now be built into the process. We can also build in an opportunity to review and revise any key documents that we produce.


The senior leadership team must own their strategy. As such they are the key participants in the process. They do not however have a monopoly on the intelligence, insight and information needed to build a winning strategy.

Virtual zoom meetings create an opportunity for meaningful participation by a much larger group. This can be done quickly, efficiently and inexpensively. We use a combination of online surveys and online meetings. The meetings may be as short as one hour or as long as four. They may be in preparation for a senior team meeting, or feedback to the senior team.

For example, we may assemble a virtual group of high performing sales staff. Their task might be to identify growth opportunities and erosion risks. Or we may assemble a virtual group in operations. Their task might be to evaluate the pros and cons of one or more proposed changes. In both cases broader participation in the process should lead to a better plan. And a better plan leads to better results.

Contact Us

Do you want to explore how an independent facilitator can help you build a better plan when holding Zoom meetings? We can help with meeting design, virtual facilitation and reporting. Please contact us today. The initial consultation is always free.

You can use our Contact Form or call Bruce Withrow at 416 461 0715 or email bwithrow@facilitators.com