Would you walk onto the battle field without knowing who your enemies are?
Would you walk across a New York City Street without looking to see if a car is nearby?
Would you jump into a pool without checking for water first?
If the answer to any of these questions was "yes," I hope you have a great life insurance policy! A strategy provides direction, guidelines, and understanding. A Strategic plan helps get everyone from the C-suite to the individual contributor on the same page and marching to the same orders. A Strategic Plan must be planned for, documented, executed upon, and updated regularly. A Strategic Plan is what helps guide your business, employees, and all work produced across the organization. All that said, not all executives are good at strategic planning and often need help managing the brainstorming, documentation, and even the implementation process. A recent article simply stated ten questions to jumpstart the strategic planning process (McKeown, 2013). Questions the author posed are:
What is the one thing your organization was worst at this year? What single thing most needs to happen to fix it?
What is the one thing your organization did best this year? What do you need to do to turn that success into a repeatable process?
Which individual was most responsible for standing in the way of your organization's success this year? What are you going to do about it?
Which department, division, team or function was most responsible for standing in the way of your organization's success this year? What are you going to do about it?
Which individual was most responsible for your organization's success this year? What are you going to do about it?
Which department, division, team or function was most responsible for your organization's success this year? What are you going to do about it?
What is the single metric or measurement you least liked hearing about this year? What will you do to prevent the same thing happening next year?
What is the single metric you will measure your success by (not how anyone else will measure your success-- how you will measure your own success). What are you doing about it?
If you fired yourself today, and came back tomorrow as a new boss with a clean sheet, what would you do?
If a perfect competitor opened up across the street from you tomorrow, what would they be like?
Answering these questions would be a great start, but takes a lot of time and resources. One great way to accomplish this arduous task is to have an impartial third party ask the right questions, provide objectivity, and deliver something tangible that can be executed upon (without the need for outside support). A strategic plan on a shelf is only good as a paperweight, so get to work. Call Blue Sky Consulting to work through the arduous process and get things done so that your organization can work even smarter and better next year! Reference McKeown, L. (2013, Aug 13). Ten questions to jumpstart your strategic planning proccess. Inc.com. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/les-mckeown/jumpstart-your-strategic-planning-process.html