Wildflowers at Picacho Peak State Park, AZ

Spring has nearly sprung to life. Here in Arizona, wildflowers are bursting into bloom. Soon the rest of the country will follow suit.

Spring is also a time for cleaning and organizing our lives—and our businesses. It’s the perfect time to refresh your strategic plan.

Strategic planning is one of the best ways to truly engage your employees in the success of your organization. Done right, it can be an easy, fun and inspiring process for involving everyone. It will amplify and accelerate the success of any team and organization.

A strategic plan is both the roadmap and the compass for your organization. It enables you to clarify, organize, act and realize your organization’s intentions as quickly as possible—so you can get on with operating your day-to-day business.

4 Phases of the Strategic Planning Process 

  • 1st Phase, you and your team to clarify the direction to take the organization and why to do it;

    The Strategic Planning Process

  • 2nd Phase, you will learn what will motivate your team to organize and be on the same page, moving in the same direction, and understand what to do and who’s to do it;
  • 3rd Phase, you will learn what will cause your team to act efficiently and effectively with implementing your action plans and why it’s important to keep the plan alive;
  • 4th Phase, you will learn how to ensure that your teams realize results that exceed your desires and expectations.

 

12 Steps of the Strategic Planning Process

Here are the 12 steps that move you through the 4 Phases of the strategic planning process cycle: Read more

As the year winds down, it’s great to understand where you’ve been, enjoy where you are, and see where you’re going. See the “3 end-of-year rituals that are sure to energize your business” after the special announcement.

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

If you own a business or are thinking of owning a business, here’s an exciting opportunity for you to create a great 2018…

 

A Strategic Planning Process

that Energizes Your Business

facilitated by Ray Madaghiele

5:30 to 7:50 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tempe Public Library

I will teach the art and science of facilitating an inspiring strategic planning process for your business. You will be guided to determine the best way to proceed with your own custom-designed strategic planning process for your unique organization. You will learn how to:

  • Create an empowering culture in which your people are focused on what matters most to the success of your organization
  • Gain enthusiastic support for your strategic plan
  • Strengthen accountability by creating alignment and buy-in throughout your organization

All attendees will receive a free participant guidebook and an autographed copy of my book, Energize Your Business: Engage Your Employees with an Inspiring Strategic Planning Process. Your investment is only $25 (all proceeds go to the Greater Phoenix SCORE to support their many services for business owners).

Click here to register at Greater Phoenix SCORE

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Here are 3 end-of-year rituals that are sure to energize your business:

  1. Reflect on the Past
  2. Celebrate the Present
  3. Project into the Future

Several sure-fire tips to execute these three rituals in your organization…

Read more

Circle of Growth

Spring is a time of releasing old burdens and planting something new and exciting that make your Spirit soar—both personally and as an organization. What could you plant now that will lead to a bountiful harvest this Fall?

Consider growing your company as you would grow a plentiful garden on fertile ground. During our strategic planning and training sessions with Native American communities and their enterprises, a good Hopi friend and business associate of mine, Perci Ami, often shares about the circle of growth and how it relates to the four directions of the medicine wheel. This cycle has proven valuable for understanding the natural order and balance necessary to yield a successful harvest in life as well as in organizations.

1. Cultivate Your Garden

Every organization is unique like each seed of every plant. What works for one may not work for another. Does your organization have a strategic plan that clearly identifies your unique seeds to success? The strategic planning process naturally reveals and cultivates what to focus your precious resources upon so that your organization is aligned with your desired vision for the future. This alignment will result in an organization that will stand the test of time.

The process also helps to differentiate the uniqueness of your organization compared to that of your competition. It is a great way to determine or reconfirm the core purpose, core values, vision, goals and action plans for an organization.

Successful companies that stand the test of time even during tough times are built upon a solid foundation of core purpose and core values while adjusting their vision, goals and action plans to adjust to the ever-changing external economic and political environment. In other words, their core values and purpose are etched in stone; their vision, goals and action plans are molded of clay.

The process, done right, draws from the collective wisdom of the leaders and employees throughout the different levels of the organization. The result is widespread involvement, buy-in and accountability for the success of the organization. The strategic planning process will illuminate your path toward a bright, prosperous future.

2. Plant Your Seeds

Once your strategic plan is established and you have decided which seeds to plant, it is time for a reality check to assure that the seeds you plant will grow. Ask yourself, “What in our present situation aligns with our strategic plan? What does not?” Similar to weeding a garden, continue doing what aligns with your plan. Stop doing what does not.

Having the right people doing the right things in the right way will assure success. All policies, procedures, systems and processes should assist your employees to achieve what you have defined in the strategic plan. If there are employees who do not support your organization’s direction, they are like weeds that choke the life out of what you desire to grow. These people are probably your unhappy employees. Chances are they are also your least productive employees who demand a lot of your time and energy.

Great leaders do not manage people, they manage agreements with people. Consider having the leaders in your organization create with each employee they supervise a Declaration of Understanding that clearly spells out mutual desires and expectations. Employees will choose to live their agreements or not. As a result, leaders can simply manage the agreement without a clash of personalities. Employees who choose not to live by their agreements, even after extensive coaching, will probably be happier someplace else where they feel better alignment with their values.

Read more

A strategic plan is both the roadmap and the compass for your organization. When your plan is done well, it enables you to get clear, get organized, get going, and get results as quickly as possible—so you can get on with operating your day-to-day business.

There are four phases of the process to create your strategic plan:

  • In the 1st Phase, you and your team get clear about the direction to take the organization and why to do it;
  • In the 2nd Phase, you will learn what will motivate your team to get organized and be on the same page, moving in the same direction, and why to do it;

Read more

What I love about a well-done strategic planning process is that it accomplishes collaboration and cooperation throughout your organization. Having everyone participate in the process naturally creates enthusiastic buy-in and support all the way from the top tier of the organization to the frontline.

The Strategic Alignment Model shows what’s possible with respect to involving more and more people in the process as it unfolds. It is a natural, cascading effect—similar to water flowing down terraces in a mountain stream. Read more

With 2016 nearly wrapped up, I hope that you are taking a deep, contemplative breath and a little time for personal reflection.

Every year we weave a unique tapestry of adventures we have experienced, successes we have accomplished, and setbacks we have suffered.

Reflect on the Past Year

Part of my ritual this time of year is to list these significant events that have occurred in my life, both personally and professionally, so I can fully view and appreciate the tapestry I co-created. It includes projects completed, activities enjoyed, problems faced, milestones reached, unforeseen circumstances overcome, etc. Some within my control, some not. What I have grown to know is that each experience was necessary to bring me to the present moment.

Jump Start Your New Year

Whatever our past year’s tapestry looks like, the beauty of the dawn of a New Year, is that we get to envision a new tapestry. It is time to begin selecting some of the threads and colors, and identifying the themes we desire.

Our greatest opportunity for 2017 is to apply our talents, skills and abilities more fully to make the finest tapestry possible.

Personal goal setting and strategic planning are creative tools that enable us to design our personal and professional tapestry.

If you are a business owner, thinking of starting a new business, or are a leader in an organization this upcoming class will help you to jump start your strategic planning process and make your 2017 tapestry your best yet. It is my honor to partner again with Greater Phoenix SCORE to facilitate this engaging how-to class, A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes Your Business. Read more

Circle of GrowthI hope that you have had both a fun and productive Summer and haven’t been too distracted by the election shenanigans. This past weekend, my wife, Lyn, and I enjoyed the last farmers market of the season for Payson, AZ. It reminded me of the cycle of reaping a bountiful Fall harvest from a garden.

Consider growing your organization as you would grow a garden. During our strategic planning and leadership training sessions with tribes and their enterprises, a good Hopi friend and business associate of mine, Perci Ami, often shares about the cycle of growth and how it relates to the four directions of the medicine wheel. This circle has proven valuable for understanding the natural order and balance necessary that yields a successful harvest in life as well as in organizations.

 1. Cultivating the Earth

Every organization is unique like the seeds of different plants. What works for one organization may not work for another. Does your organization have a strategic plan that clearly identifies your unique “seeds of success”? The strategic planning process naturally reveals and cultivates what to focus your precious resources upon so that your organization is aligned with your desired vision for the future. This alignment will result in an organization that will stand the test of time.

The process also helps to differentiate the uniqueness of your organization compared to that of your competition. It is a great way to determine or reconfirm the core purpose, core values, mission, vision, goals and action plans for your organization. Successful companies that stand the test of time, even during tough times, are planted in the fertile ground of core purpose and core values. Then they adjust their vision, goals and action plans (similar to molding pliable clay) to the ever-changing external economic and political environment.

The strategic planning process, done right, draws from the collective wisdom of the leaders and employees throughout the different levels of the organization. Read more

 Strategic Planning Facilitation

(This is the second of two posts highlighting this powerful 12-step process. Click here to read about the first 6-steps in last week’s article.)

12-Step Strategic Planning ProcessEnergize and engage your employees with an inspiring strategic planning process that helps everyone get clear, get organized, get going, and get results. That’s what successful businesses do.

Here are the remaining steps of the 12 steps of the strategic planning process cycle that, done right, tends to amplify and accelerate the success of any organization:

 

Get Organized…

  1.  Do Some Soul Searching – Warren Buffet said “In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” When you reflect on and understand your Strengths, Possible improvements, Opportunities and Challenges (SPOC Analysis) as an organization, you can chart the best course toward your goals and figure out the actions needed to reach your company vision.
  1.  Focus Your Energy – What you focus on expands and grows stronger, so, focus your attention on your desired intention. Oprah Winfrey said “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
  1.  Chart Your Course – Companies that use strategic planning to set only financial targets are missing out on some of the most rewarding benefits and possibilities. Establish goals that will be inspiring and energizing, not just financial targets to achieve. Involve your employees in the process before you get too far down the path.

Read more

Strategic Planning FacilitationEnergize and engage your employees with an inspiring strategic planning process that helps everyone get clear, get organized, get going, and get results. That’s what successful businesses do.

(This is the first of two articles highlighting this powerful 12-step process. Look for Part 2 next week.)

Here are the first 6 of 12 steps of the strategic planning process cycle that, done right, tends to amplify and accelerate the success of any organization:

Plan to Plan…

  1.  Set the Right Energy –It all begins with “planning to plan” (the invisible 12th step) which lays the foundation for a successful strategic planning process. Before you take the first step, it is crucial to select the right facilitator, design the right process, send the right message, and create the right atmosphere that resonates with your organization’s culture.

Get Clear…

  1.  See Where You Are – Many leaders are trying to run their organizations with “flat spots” that decrease productivity, produce inefficiencies, and impede growth. A strategic plan is vital for any start-up or seasoned business. It is like a trail map and compass for hiking in the wilderness. But to begin any journey, you first need to know where you are.
  1.  Remember Your ‘Big Why?’ – Knowing your core purpose keeps you centered on what’s most important—during good times and challenging times. The purpose of your organization is like the seed of an apple. No one knows the potential yield of your organization and how much can be produced in the lifetime of your company.

Read more

Energizing FacilitationThe success of your strategic planning process depends upon selecting the right facilitator. This person will be the foundation upon which everything is built during the process.

It is critical that you choose a neutral facilitator(s) in order to guarantee that everyone’s voice will be heard. An experienced facilitator will guide the process without bias, ask the tough questions, and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to provide input. A skilled, seasoned facilitator will keep things fun, engaging, and on track by using an array of tools in his or her facilitation tool box—including storyboarding, small group activities, teambuilding elements, interactive dialogue, and intimate experiences—all seamlessly interwoven throughout the natural unfoldment of the process.

Fa·cil·i·ta·tor One that facilitates; especially: one that helps to bring about an outcome (as learning, productivity, or communication) by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, or supervision ~Merriam Webster Dictionary

The science of facilitation is the step-by-step activity. It is what needs to be done to complete each element of the process, while progressively asking the right questions at the right time—each question building upon the next.

The art of facilitation is how you go about accomplishing it. It involves sensing the energy of the participants and knowing when to ask a tough question that will reveal the “elephant in the room”—a vital issue that is screaming for attention and crying out to be resolved. The art requires listening beneath the words for deeper meaning. It entails using uplifting energy and wit to lighten up tense situations.

The success of your strategic planning process will depend upon how safe people feel in sharing their deepest thoughts and feelings. Read more