January 30, 2024

How to run (another) full day company strategy

As you may (or may not) know, Moonward is a 100% in-house design and development agency in Brisbane. Australia. While this does have so many benefits above and beyond offshore development companies, which you can read more about that here and here. It also a massive benefit to the culture of the team and importantly the vision that drives the company forward. At Moonward, every single year, the leadership team meets for a full day company strategy. This allows our team to both reflect on what we have done really well this year, what challenged us and what our vision is for the next 12 months.

If you are thinking about running your own full day company strategy session, here is how we did our most recent one at Moonward. We hope it helps!

A few admin things

Who is going

The people who should attend this event, should really be the decision makers and action takers in the team. At Moonward we have a leadership team of around 5 individuals from different sectors of the business, and these are the people who attended the company strategy day. At Moonward you need to earn the title of ‘Lead’ and this is why they are the best suited to attend. They are individuals who are extremely motivated to see the company succeed and importantly, them as a member of the team succeed.

Where is it going to be

At Moonward, we always opt to do our full day company strategy at an actual location that is not Moonward HQ.

There is something special about physically travelling somewhere else and being put in another environment, especially for a session like this. This does mean you will need to pick a venue that can accomodate however many people you are taking on this trip, as we suggest staying at the property for a few days so you aren’t rushed.

At Moonward, we usually opt for a place that is within an hours drive of Brisbane. This time we went to a beautiful Airbnb at Rosemount in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands. We usually pick a property that has a mixture of indoor and outdoor collaboration space, as well as some fun things to do at the location if you all need a bit of a break and opportunity to reset.

Check out Airbnb, it’s always great!

Pool in Rosemount
Airbnb at Rosemount in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands

What’s the agenda

From experience, it takes at least double (or triple) the time to plan the agenda of the event, than the actual event itself. While the appropriate amount of planning means that the day will run much more smoothly, it also means you aren’t going to show up and waste a bunch of very important peoples time. You want the day to feel effortless and run like clockwork. Decision making fatigue is real and there will be a lot of big decisions being made on this day. You don’t want people to have to decide what to do next, you just want it to flow.

What do you need

Here is a small list to give you an idea:

  • Plenty of food for everyone
  • Plenty of drinks for everyone
  • Plenty of writing equipment
  • Plenty of post it notes
  • A bluetooth speaker
  • A host (someone to keep you on track)

The actual breakdown of the day

While I’m not going to go into too much detail here, because we need to keep some ingredients in the Secret Sauce confidential and the actual flow of the event is a culmination of the leadership teams own readings and learnings throughout an entire year. You are more than welcome to reach out to Moonward personally and learn more about the finer details if you wish. We have provided an outline of the actual breakdown of the day.

Agenda Overview


Part One: Review


Part Two: The Why


Part Three: The How



  • Why are we doing a planning session
  • Why are we here
  • Who is everyone here

Part One: Review

  • What are our key achievements as a team
  • What are our key challenges as a team
  • Discuss the lessons learned

Part Two: The Why

  • Define your enemy
  • Define the reasons why your company is doing what it is doing
  • Define our non-negotiables to reach our goal (what we will not compromise on)

Part Three: The How

  • What we did really well this past year
  • What we didn’t do well this past year
  • The gap between them
  • The steps we need to take

Moonward Team members sitting on a couch
Moonward Team Lead's on the Strategy Day

The Execution

This point is not really something we can document and provide as it will be unique to every company. At Moonward we use a series of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to define and measure both the overall company goal, as well as the different department goals. Our objectives are assigned 3 month increments and steps that need to be taken in order to achieve the big goal. At Moonward, the leadership team will subsequently meet once a week for a two hour session to discuss our performance and keep our finger on the pulse in terms of what we are trying to achieve.

Some advice that we learnt from last year is making sure that you really attach ‘The Why’ to ‘The How.’ We are a development team, the majority of our company make up consists of task focused doers. It’s easy to return from a session, such as a full day company strategy and get straight into the weeds, ticking off tasks and implementing change. Then at the end of the year you look back and see you achieved a lot of ‘stuff.’ Why? Well, that’s the question.

If you don’t have ‘The Why’ the tasks may change as day to day business life happens, and it will throw out the entire plan. If you have ‘The Why’ the plan doesn’t change, but the tasks inevitably will.

Final thoughts

Company strategy days can be a huge value add to your business. As John C. Maxwell says in his book Leadership “People want to be judged on their intentions and not their actions. But results are what makes the difference, not good intentions.” Following an event like this is where the hard work begins. Best of luck!

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