It’s been a few months since you and your team put the finishing touches on your organization’s exciting, challenging, and let’s be honest, pretty amazing strategic plan. So what’s happened since you all high-fived one another and ‘finished’ that project? Have you moved the plan forward? Have you focused on it each day? Has it become a guide for your leadership and team actions? Or, have you already lost sight of what you and the team determined was needed to strategically move your organization to greater success?
Have you focused on your plan each day to guide your leadership and team actions?
The reason for strategic planning is to provide dedicated team time to research, discuss, debate, strategize, and review operations and opportunities to determine: Over and above daily operations, what do we need to do differently to move us to our next level of success? The first part of that sentence is key: “over and above daily operations.” That phrase is key because daily operations are what consume 100% of our time now. So why do we and how do we plan to do even more? Why we do it is to identify new initiatives, products, and service lines to meet our customers’ changing needs. However, the trick to doing it well also requires identifying what we need to STOP doing. When we identify what initiatives, products and services to stop, we free up resources to support new, different, potentially far more effective strategies that will have an even greater positive impact on our customers. When we do this well, our clarified initiatives, product and service-line offerings provide greater returns, enhanced efficiencies, and higher margins. That’s why we do strategic planning. However, if we don’t focus on the plan, we continue to be consumed by our current, daily operations. We continue to do what we’ve done, without consideration of the true value of the return on our efforts. We revert to doing what’s become our reality, our routine. When we don’t focus on our plan every day, we lose sight of our new Vision, and the new reality we want for ourselves.
When we don’t focus on the plan every day, we lose sight of our vision and our new reality.
So how do we stay true to our plan? How do we ensure we don’t lose sight of our vision and the new reality we want to live? We focus on the plan every day. Yes, every day. As leaders, we need to question every current action and decision, as well as every new idea or initiative. We need to consistently ask ourselves and our teams: Is this ___ moving us closer to our Vision, is it holding us in place, or is it moving us away from our Vision? If it isn’t moving us forward, why are we currently doing it or why is it being suggested? Asking this question of ourselves and our teams makes us and them more cognizant, strategic, and intentional in how and where we spend our time and resources.
Asking yourself and your team about the strategic necessity of actions makes you and them more cognizant and intentional in how and where you spend your time and resources.
An easy, intentional way to keep yourself and your team aligned and focused on the plan is to have monthly, if not quarterly, focused strategic plan review/update meetings. These meetings, when conducted well, take no more than one to two hours. They provide a forum for the entire team to come together, provide concise but clear updates on their parts of the plan, learn of the successes and challenges others are facing, and incorporate needed adjustments and modifications to the plan in real time, instead of changing the document six months after the team has already changed a strategy. Monthly, or quarterly, strategic plan updates, enable you to stay focused, aligned, and moving toward your new reality.
Focusing on your plan every day yourself, and as a team every month, ensure you stay true to your plan. Do you?
Copyright MMXIX – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.