Articles tagged "Strategic Planning"
The COVID pandemic has changed not only how and where we work, it’s also changed our priorities and perspectives. What used to be a typical day at the office, has become an extended day of jumping between working remotely, home schooling our kids, serving as on-site technical support for our kids and as remote support for our parents, all while monitoring the status of our grocery delivery to ensure the doorbell doesn’t announce its arrival during a virtual client meeting. What used to be a typical day at the office, has become an extended day of jumping between working remotely, home schooling our kids, serving as on-site technical support for our kids and as remote support for our parents, all while monitoring the status of our grocery delivery to ensure the doorbell doesn’t announce its arrival during a virtual client meeting. We are now finding that what used to matter has changed. What we used to have under control, we don’t. What we used to know as givens, are not. And, what used to be typical 3 to 5 to 10+ year strategic planning, has become 12 to 18+ month strategic planning.
When things start to settle a bit in your world as you adjust to the new reality caused by the global COVID-19 Pandemic, be prepared to dramatically revise your strategic plan. It’s no longer strategically viable. Whether your operations experience a positive or negative impact for two weeks or two years, the future work world you were envisioning when your plan was created no longer exists.
During a recent quarterly strategic plan update session, the CFO had an epiphany. We had been discussing what they, as the senior staff, had done to communicate their new vision and mission to all staff. We had also discussed what they would be doing next to work with their teams to help them understand how each team’s efforts should support the new vision. As part of that discussion, I suggested the senior staff ask themselves and their teams this question: How will this (process, initiative, project, etc.,) move our Vision and Mission - and those we serve - forward? As we discussed this question further, the CFO sat back with a somewhat stunned look on his face.
One of the questions I’m initially asked by a new strategic planning client is, “How will we know what we’re supposed to focus on with our new plan?” Well, the easy answer is, “You’ll focus on what you need to focus on,” but the more appropriate answer is, “You’ll focus on what your answers to some critical questions tell you to focus on.” Now you may be thinking, “Those sound like a couple of non-answers and they don’t sound strategic at all.”
We’re now in the midst of the traditional strategic planning season. Given that, we’re partnering with several organizations whose planning teams are working hard to outline a clear, focused path forward for their respective organizations. For leaders who have previously experienced the strategic planning process, this process can be frustrating, stimulating, demoralizing, and energizing all at the same time. However, for leaders who struggle to comprehend the need to define and capture new strategic initiatives while not documenting and tracking oppressive current operations, the strategic planning process can be perplexing to say the least. Being able to understand and accept the difference in strategic versus complex operational actions is key to successful strategic planning.