Strategic Planning (Part 1): Keep it Simple
- Strategic planning can often be a months-long process that leads to big plans and little execution
- If your plan is complicated, you won’t execute
- A cohesive, focused, goal-driven strategic plan can be developed within 1–3 days
How many times have you taken part in a “strategic planning” session? You know what we mean: off-sites, on-sites, change-the-world sessions, driven by hype, energy, and hard work. The development of the big, master plan that’s going to change the company and maybe the world. Then, the predictable happens. It sits on a shelf, or on your computer, and it’s never looked at again. Sound familiar?
Over the years, many of us have been involved in more of these sessions than we can count, and all with the same result… pretty much nothing to show for it.
Create your Strategy with Speed
Don’t be fooled: a strategic plan is absolutely critical in setting the course of your organization. The problem is that most of the time and energy is put into the development of the plan instead of the execution of the plan. Contrary to popular belief, a cohesive, focused, goal-driven strategic plan can be developed quickly (think a day or two). Once that plan is in place, it becomes all about execution and accountability — and that’s where the real magic happens.
The inVision Edge Strategic Planning Process
Organizations need a simple framework to drive the planning process forward. The simpler the planning process, the faster you’ll be executing the plan, and the more effective it will be. It’s about taking the momentum created in the strategic planning process and maintaining it, using it to drive actions forward. Our strategic planning process distills this across five steps:
Step 1: Determine your Purpose
It’s critical to start by defining your “Why.” – Why does your organization exist? Does your whole organization have a similar answer to this question or, are they all different? Without this shared vision, competing ideas, goals, and objectives spread through an organization, stifling growth and innovation. Sharing a similar “Why” statement creates a shared vision of the organization’s goals and objectives and provides a strong foundation to build upon.
Step 2: Current State
Develop a clear understanding of the challenges your organization faces and the opportunities ahead.
Step 3: Law of 3’s Plan Design
inVision’s strategic planning process drives organizations to create their top three Big Goals, Step Goals for each Big Goal, and Actions that will drive change.
Step 4: Determine “Death Threats”
Potential barriers that threaten the execution of the plan are what we call “Death Threats.” Recognizing and removing/mitigating these barriers not only helps build confidence throughout the team but also gives the team greater chances of success.
Step 5: Execution
Everyone who has a hand in executing the plan will be empowered by inVision’s rhythm of accountability process. Using this process makes sure execution is consistent and doesn’t “fall off” due to competing priorities or fires of the week.
Keep your planning system simple and hit repeat annually. You’ll get smarter every time you complete a planning cycle, increasing your ability to execute. With that, success and results become predictable – and who wouldn’t get excited about that?
This is part one of three in a series of blog posts about the importance of strategy to business. Check out our next post: The Law of 3s
Want to learn more about our proven process for strategic planning and how to implement it within your organization? Check out our free guide “Strategy Clarity” to get all the details.
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