InnovaBuzz Episode #77 – Planning is Fun: Lessons from Running a Retreat

InnovaBuzz Podcast 77

Planning is Fun!

In today’s podcast, Jürgen reflects on the recent planning retreat he ran as a JV with a number of other businesses and describes the lessons he took away from running that event. Learn why he says – Planning is Fun.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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There is a magic exponential power unleashed when people join and work together. @innovabiz on #InnovaBuzz Podcast Share on X
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Show Notes

Key points and take-aways from this episode on Lessons from Running a Planning Retreat:

  • Planning is fun
    Many people find planning to be a chore, and do it poorly or avoid it altogether. Little do they know yet, how much fun planning is, and we certainly had a lot of fun planning for our own businesses and helping other businesses plan.
  • Away from the day to day – The Importance of Environment
    Getting away from the day to day grind of running your business, really makes it easy to focus on working on the business and in our case, planning for massive growth in the next 12 months.  The environment in which we chose to do this work was critical, as well – large spacious training room with plenty of natural light, comfortable chairs, the opportunity to stand – move around the room – write on wall charts.
  • Accelerated Learning (modelling)
    By applying the techniques of accelerated learning, where people learn first by modelling intuitively from others and being models for others, you can compress learning times exponentially. This is different from cognitive learning, where you study and attempt to understand something before applying it. It’s really a more natural way of learning – think about a young toddler learning to walk, clearly they learn by intuitive modelling – watch others, do it, fall over and get feedback, try again and quickly learn to walk.
  • You learn what you teach
    I spent a lot of time in this workshop helping other businesses, in particular with their digital marketing. At the same time, I achieved some huge breakthroughs in my own business plan and learnt a lot about where the gaps in my own plan were – just by teaching!
  • Beginning with the End in Mind
    We started with defining our end goal of a 7 figure rolling revenue in the next 12-18 months, then worked backwards to develop the plan, the products, the services required for that. We also took into account seasonalities that occur in each business and drilled down the plans to monthly and even weekly focus areas. When you then look forward from current time – the path to reach that goal is very clear and the actions required to get there soundly and robustly defined.
  • The Power of Focus
    Being away from the business and the day to day environment – allowed each business to focus on the planning. With that focus, what was achieved by each and every business over the course of the 5 days we had in Thailand, was simply amazing.
  • The Power of Mastermind
    Having like minded businesses in the same room, sharing the learnings and committed to helping one another succeed is just awesome. There is a magic exponential power unleashed when people join and work together in this way and we certainly had some awesome people and businesses in our group. Of course, the best way of identifying gaps and fixing them in your own business is helping others – often what you help others with also needs addressing in your own business.
  • The Power and Beauty of Frameworks
    I just love frameworks – they help me simplify complex things and provide an overview and structure to those things. We followed the ESIP framework thinking model from NLP for structuring the entire workshop – this is based on Environment – Structure – Implementation and People.  We also built frameworks around our brainstorming and generating ideas and translating those ideas into actionable plans.  We had frameworks for marketing, for sales, for developing processes.
  • Disney Creativity Strategy
    This strategy is inspired by Walt Disney, who is of course, famous for having creative ideas and turning them into reality. The strategy has been modeled by NLP expert Robert Dils in 1994 and is a wonderful tool to move from creative thinking (Dream Room), to logical planning and critical analysis (Reality Room) implementation thinking (Sweat Room). It’s a fabulous framework for focused thinking.
  • Did I mention planning is fun?
    Yes, it was a huge blast and wonderful tropical island location, with swimming facilities, gym, massages, spa, MTB rides around the island and plenty of photography (oh yes, video as well – keep your eye open for those later)


I have 3 complimentary Access ALL Passes (Value $395) for the Business Systems Summit on June 22 and 23 – a fantastic online Global summit where 30 Experts share their best systems, processes and checklists.

To go into the draw for these prizes, leave a comment below this blog post and tell us:

  1. What are your biggest challenges about planning?
  2. What are your biggest challenges around systems and processes?

Answer both questions – I’ll pick the best answer by June 17, 2017 and send you these passes.


I just love frameworks - they help me simplify complex things. @innovabiz on #InnovaBuzz Podcast Share on X
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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

1 Comment

  1. Jürgen Strauss on June 9, 2017 at 11:35

    Thank you for sharing these insights, Joanne Clark:
    One of the special joys of travelling to Phuket and staying on Coconut Island to prepare 8 growing businesses for their million dollar success was that the environment enabled us to escape the human doing disease. On the island there were no shops, nightclubs, tourist attractions, or other busy busy activities. We chose between swimming in luxurious pools or the ocean, eating from delightfully delicious menus, relaxing massages and pamper packs, strolling through lush tropical gardens – and once away from human doing we found our creativity, rediscovered our joy in dreaming plans for our futures and the personal power to deliver on our promises to ourselves. Masterprac training added the magic of hypnotic suggestions and mind mastery. Diagnosis of the human doing disease and development of your own immunity to it is essential to rediscovering, reconnecting and ultimately creating your own destiny. I look forward to hearing your reflections on this article and post.

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