We’re now in the season of holidays, gift giving, taxes and strategic planning. Strategic planning is the exercise that companies usually do sometime after November 1st and before January 31st.
If you’re one of the companies about to schedule a strategic planning exercise, here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your time.
Tip One: Start with your vision statement. Dust off that vision statement you created a while ago and make sure it still fits your ultimate, long term objectives for you and the company.
Tip Two: Perform an annual SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It’s health to do a SWOT every year as your market an competitors are constantly changing.
Tip Three: Create a three-year Outcome Statement (OS). An OS is a long paragraph that describes where you want to be personally and professionally before detailing the high-level vision of how the business you own or work for will help you get there.
Tip Four: Once the OS is complete, break down each component into high-level milestones that will be accomplished over three years and then place those milestones in the quarter where those milestones need to be completed. With Live Fused, we have a simple block exercise that is visualizes 12 quarters and lets you place milestones in each block.
Tip Five: Look at your milestones and determine which ones are 1) longer-term objectives that are strategic to the company’s growth and 2) need the help of your entire executive team. We call these “rocks”. Create a list of your Rocks. An example of a “rock” that I’ve seen many times is “creating a company training program.” A necessary as training programs are, they are quite often shelved on the alter of immediate needs. However, they reap tremendous benefits when implemented and need to get completed.
Tip Six: Break your first quarter’s milestones into tasks that will be completed during the three months of that quarter. This is your first month’s plan.
Tip Seven: Place the “rocks” onto a stand-up meeting agenda that you’ll implement with your executive team. Hold this meeting once per week for 20 minutes and focus only on moving the “rocks” forward one week at a time. Pick no more that three rocks to work on in one quarter. Your temptation will be to try to get them all done. Don’t do it! Take a few at a time, execute those well and then move on to others.
If you need help, give us a call. Our JumpStart strategic planning workshops get you through the process quickly.