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;
- 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:
Plan 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.
- 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 –Clearly defining your mission helps you know what opportunities to say “yes” to and which to say “no” to. Once you have created your 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.”
- 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. 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.
- 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, similar to that of 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 employees in the process. Assign everyone a piece of the puzzle to help keep the plan alive. Everyone collaborates to deliver 24k Gold Service that improves loyalty and profitability.
- Measure Your Progress –“Robert Kiyosaki said, “My measure of success is whether I’m fulfilling my mission.” Measure how well you are 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 like malleable clay with the flexibility to ebb and flow with conditions.Enjoy taking this journey to clarify, organize, act and realize results that are most important to your organization. Look for ways to involve your teams in the 12 steps of the strategic planning process so you get enthusiastic buy in and support, and assure everyone is aligned, focused and moving in the same direction.
Here’s a great free opportunity to learn how to use strategic planning to take your organization to its next level of success…
Much success and fulfillment,