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Archive for action planning

Strategic Planning – The Map to Results

Strategic Planning Improves Results with Consistent Implementation

Strategic planning only helps organizations when they are kept active and implemented.  The strategic plan defines the business direction.  That direction is based on the future, the vision of the company.  Before an effective strategic plan can be developed a clear and compelling vision is needed.

Visions are optimistic, the ideal picture of the future.  The strategic plan that results from the leadership team’s strategic planning, is the map to that vision and then it is only effective if it is implemented.

Strategic plans can sound intimidating and overwhelming to many small business owners.  The most effective strategic plans are those that are simple, completed with the leadership team and key people in the company.  Complex documents that consume excessive amounts of time to create don’t guarantee success.  In fact, the large and cumbersome strategic plan can be so overwhelming that it just doesn’t work.  Strategic planning sessions that go on and on for months also fail because so much time is consumed in the planning and the implementation, which is the key, is pushed aside.  The goal to have the perfect strategic plan doesn’t produce results.  Instead, the team that engages in strategic planning and produces a good working document is more likely to succeed.

To create your strategic plan:

Start with vision.  Write down what you envision for the future.  What does the future of your business look like?  What do you want for the future? Vision stories are inspiring, it’s your dream.  Once you have created your vision you can begin building strategies.

The vision is the destination, where you are going.  The strategies are the map that gets you to the vision.  Company values are the guide or the “compass” in our map metaphor for making decisions along the way.  Values keep you oriented and in alignment.  When values are out of alignment the company is off track; not moving in the direction of the vision.

Strategic goals can be limited to the top 6-10.  By having fewer goals the plan is able to stay alive and in front of you and the team.  By alive, it means that the plan is always where you can see it, use it and keep working on it.  It means that the team is focused on the strategic goals at all times, talking about them, brainstorming on them and reporting to each other their successes and challenges.

To set strategies for your business first look at the vision, the different aspects of the vision. Brainstorm all of the goals, all of the strategies for each aspect of the vision.  With brainstorming it is important to get all of the ideas out and write them down without judging them or editing them.  Often the best idea comes from an idea that at first look seemed too wild or crazy.  Ideas jump off of other ideas.

Once you have brainstormed all of the possible goals, prioritize them. Often strategic goals can be grouped with similar strategies.  This can help in the prioritization process.  The goal is to narrow the list down to the top 6-10 strategies.  What are the goals or strategies that will give your business the future you envision, that will create a breakthrough that will produce the results that you want?  Those are the goals that you should be selecting as top priorities.

Creating a powerful strategic plan is just one of the first steps.  Many organizations have strategic plans that are well thought out and crafted.  Where they fall short is in the implementation of that plan.

Implementation is the key.  If you fail to implement, the results will not be what you set out to achieve.

Implementation is the result of focused and continuous action.  Strategic plans don’t just happen on their own: they require your attention.  By keeping the plan in front of you and the team responsible for the plan, focus is maintained.  Regular meetings about the plan also keep the plan moving in the right direction.  Check-in meetings hold people accountable.  When teams don’t meet and don’t keep their eye on the plan, the day to day interferes and the status quo remains.  In order to make changes in the results that you achieve there has to be intention and commitment on the part of the team. The check-in meeting gives the team the opportunity to review what is happening, what is interfering with the results they want and need and make the changes necessary to change the outcomes.  Through the intention of the leadership, the plan and the team, the culture of the workplace can shift from one of non-performance to one of performance focused.

Performance focused companies are companies that are thriving. The energy of high performing teams shifts the energy of the whole organization.  It becomes more positive and contagious.  People become excited about the vision, the plan and their implementation of the plan.  Results create energy and excitement that keeps the plan moving, it propels the plan and the ultimate results of the company.

Organizations that produce results have a clear vision of the future; have a plan that is simple and strategic; and they work on the plan all the time.  Their actions are designed to move that plan forward.  They don’t let themselves or others get in the way. Through effective strategic planning and by implementing the strategic plan organizations achieve results.

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.

EnVision 2016

When You Fail To Envision the future…. can you really take the right actions to get you there?

summitVision + Action = Results

I have been a long time believer in vision.  Not so much in the law of attraction working on its own, but I do believe that without a clear vision, it makes it hard to create the right strategic plan to get you to that vision.

I found that when I biked across the country. It was the strong vision of biking across the country that gave me the direction for creating a bike route and a plan.  If I just set out to bike for 6 months I could have stayed home and ridden with the bike club in circles — round and round.

That clear vision allowed me to create a strategic plan that we focused on implementing.  The results — a route across the country, places to stay each night, 10 service project locations across the country and lots of places to visit and see.

I use this as a metaphor for business.  In business, your vision is what drives you.  Sharing that vision, expanding the vision all contribute to your ability to create strategies for success.

When the vision is unclear or non existent it is hard to really grow your business.  You can perhaps keep it going on a day to day — riding in circles fashion.  But to really grow you have to be aiming at something — clear and compelling.

That vision drives your actions.

Each year, I take some time to look at my vision, to review it and refine it and create that new strategic plan for the upcoming year!

It isn’t about New Year’s resolutions.  It is about — a clear and compelling vision for the future.

I offer a complimentary webinar each year for my contacts as well — called EnVision 2016.  It is usually fun…

Bring your colored markers, paper, pen and enthusiasm and take an hour to create your vision for 2o16.

Register HERE

Donna Price is a speaker, trainer, author and business and marketing strategist. She founded her company, Compass Rose Consulting in 2003 after a 20+ year career in non-profit management and administration. Donna’s history is impressive. She goes beyond the world of work as an adventurer and brings bold living lessons to each of her presentations. Donna has a unique inspirational story – of cycling across the country and how you take wild ideas and make them happen. She is the author of several books including; Yes! Marketing Works, Launching Your Dreams and Employee Coaching. Donna Price works with business leaders, teams and individuals to get them moving, improve their bottom line results through effective strategy, leadership, marketing and communication.