Posts Tagged ‘strategic plan’

The One-Page Strategic Plan

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

I’ve read that somewhere close to 80 percent of strategic plans are never implemented. Or at a minimum, they are not fully implemented.

Why?

Because they’re usually dozens of pages long, clipped inside a binder, sitting on the bookshelf behind senior management’s desks.

If you can’t simply represent and communicate your strategic plan on one page, you don’t have a plan worth following. Go back and define it further, simplify it, clarify it, dig into it, and figure out what you really want to focus on.

I recently worked with an organization that spent a day in an executive retreat talking about and working on their strategic plan for the following year and beyond. At the end of the day I’m pretty sure there weren’t many who could have communicated what the real focus was, what the challenges and goals were, and what really needed to be done over the following 12 months.

A week later, I spent four hours on a flight across the country thinking about and writing out what had been discussed and by the time the plane was landing, I had written close to eight pages.

Over the next few days I thought a lot about what I’d written, then sat in front of the flip chart in my office and started making notes. Within an hour, I had created a picture in my mind of what this organization had to do to be successful – its goals. It then was clear to me that they needed just three strategies that would lead to achieving these goals. And from there, it was obvious what tactics were required. Well, mostly obvious. It did take a couple of conversations with others to ensure we had them all. But in the end what we had was a strategic plan – the goals, strategies and tactics – all on one page. At the top of the page we added what the real purpose of the organization is – the mission or “Why Statement” – as that cannot be over-communicated. It wasn’t quite a flow chart, but it did flow downward, was simple to understand, and was very clear.

One page. The mission, goals, strategies and tactics were there for all to see – and work on. It was something that people could post on a wall next to their desks and refer to all the time – not just management, but every employee. When a decision needed to be made, one could look at the One-Pager and see if it fit; whether it fit or not, the decision was easy to make. And everyone knew what needed to be done – they knew what the critical few things that would lead to the organization’s success were.

Do you have a one-page strategic plan?

Ultimately, I think the most valuable part of the one-page strategy document is the thought that goes into it. If you can define and refine your mission, goals, strategy and tactics to the point where they fit on one page, you’ve probably thought enough about your business to make it even more successful than it is now.

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What’s Your Performance Strategy?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Does your business have a strategic plan? Does it have a sales and marketing strategy? How about a product development strategy? A financial plan or strategy? Does it have a performance strategy?

If your answers to these questions were “Yes,” “Yes,” “Yes,” “Yes” and “What?” then you own, manage or work for the typical company. Most don’t even know what a “performance strategy” is.

So, what is a performance strategy? It’s a strategy to get the best performance out of the people working in the company. Study after study has shown that more than three-quarters of workers in America do not perform at the best. Most only do enough to get by. And many, who are more than capable of performing much better, don’t perform anywhere near average.

Most companies that say they have a performance strategy only really have an annual performance review process, and perhaps some type of program that links compensation to results (and not necessarily to performance). That is far from a performance strategy, and even further from a Performance Management Program (PMP).

A PMP helps individuals perform better by ensuring they have what they need to do so, including appropriate feedback, clear expectations, resources, training, a sense of what matters to them, appropriate goals, and much more. A PMP helps managers bring out the best in their employees. A PMP helps groups perform better as teams. A PMP helps the entire company perform better.

I’ve read that as many at 80% of strategic plans that companies spend large sums of money creating never get implemented. Could it be because the employees are not performing well enough to implement it?

If your company doesn’t have a performance strategy, then how can it expect to meet the goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan, the sales and marketing strategy, the product strategy, and/or the financial plan/strategy? Isn’t it the people in the business that have to carry out these other things?