Creating Certainty in the Midst of Uncertainty
A strategic plan provides a flexible compass and roadmap for your organization. It has you analyze present and emerging circumstances and project into the future.
These days, I coach leaders to look at planning like molding clay. Continuously molding the plan as circumstances shift.
Done right, strategic planning can be an easy, fun, and inspiring process for involving all team members. It amplifies and accelerates the success of any team and organization.
Here are the 4 overarching phases of the process…
The 4 Phases of Strategic Planning
- 1st Phase: You and your team Clarify the direction to take the organization and why to do it.
- 2nd Phase: Organize so that all team members are on the same page, moving in the same direction, toward the same common goals.
- 3rd Phase: Your team Acts together collaborating to implement the action plan and keeping the plan alive.
- 4th Phase: Monitor and adjust the plan to ensure the team is Realizing results that fulfill mutual desires and expectations.
Here are the 12 steps of the strategic planning process within each of the 4 phases…
The 12 Steps of the Strategic Planning Process
PLANNING TO PLAN:
- 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.
PHASE 1: CLARIFY FOCUS:
- 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.
- 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.
- Infuse Your Culture –Values are your guide for weathering ethical dilemmas. They become the fabric for weaving good sound decisions. Values should be at the core of all the decisions employees make. They show what your company stands for.
- Know Your Business –Once you have created your overarching mission statement, you will have defined the limits of what you will focus on as an organization. W. Clement Stone said “When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.”
PHASE 2: ORGANIZE AND PRIORITIZE COMMITMENTS:
- Envision Your Future –When you create a clear vision, it expands the collective thinking of your organization to encompass greater possibility and influence. A lofty vision is energizing. It excites everyone involved. It generates hope for the future. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
- 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.
- Focus Your Energy –What you focus on expands and grows stronger, so, focus your attention on your desired intention. The cone of influence formed by your purpose, values, mission, and vision helps you know what opportunities to say “yes” to and which to say “no” to. Oprah Winfrey said “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
- 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.
PHASE 3: ACT WITH CONVICTION:
- Prepare for Ignition –Jack Welch said, “When it comes to strategy, ponder less and do more.” Much of strategic planning is about building potential energy, like a roller-coaster climbing a hill, then kinetic energy takes over as the roller-coaster rushes down the hill—as you put your plans into action!
- Keep the Energy Flowing –Napoleon Hill said, “All natural laws and all of nature’s plans are based upon harmonious, cooperative effort.” Gain enthusiastic support and buy-in for the plan by involving ALL team members collaborate in the process. Assign everyone a piece of the puzzle to help keep the plan alive.
PHASE 4: REALIZE SUCCESS AND FULFILLMENT:
- Measure Your Progress –“Robert Kiyosaki said, “My measure of success is whether I’m fulfilling my mission.” Measure how well your team is doing in achieving your mission, vision, and goals. Establish performance targets that let you know whether or not you are on track to achieve the results you desire. However, keep your plans malleable as clay with the flexibility to ebb and flow with conditions.
Enjoy taking this strategic planning journey with your team to clarify, organize, act, and realize results that are most important to your organization. Involve your team in the strategic planning process so you get enthusiastic buy in and support, and assure everyone is aligned, focused, and moving in the same direction.
This FREE online class will help guide you and your team through the process…
Much success and fulfillment,
Chief Inspiration Officer, Business Energizers™
I am happy to talk if you have questions or want assistance with strategic planning. Click this link to schedule a free 30-minute energizer Zoom call.