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Strategy Navigation (Part 3): I fought the law and the law won

October 23, 2015

In the previous two posts in my Strategy Navigation series, I talked about the need to keep your strategic planning process as simple as possible and secondly to develop the rhythm of accountability - a regular groove for the execution of your plan. Now, we focus on the nuts and bolts of developing a strategic plan.

I’ve participated in countless strategy sessions and experienced many different systems; I have found that by far, the simplest and most effective model is the Law of 3s plan design.

Three overarching goals set the course for the organization over the next three years; under each goal, three objectives chart the course for the year. Team members create actions to achieve each objective, which in turn are aligned with the plan’s goals. Here’s the simple Law of 3’s design:

Law of 3s

The foundation of the model is the acknowledgement that at the end of the day organization, teams, and employees can’t do it all. We work best when we have an intense focus on a few things versus a watered down focus on many things. The Law of 3s structure forces an element of simplicity into the strategic planning process: if you break the Law of 3s, you’ll have too much on your plate and things just won’t get done.

It’s about clarity. The Law of 3s structure focuses and organizes the path to clarify what needs to get done and how it will get done. At a glance, the organization’s top priorities are clear. It’s simple yet effective, and we’ve applied it to corporate plans, team or departmental plans, and even personal planning with great success.

Remember: done is better than perfect. It won’t be perfect the first time you use the Law of 3s, but the more you use it, the better you get. It works. Combine the Law of 3s with a regular rhythm of accountability to bring your plan to life.


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