“As far as I’m concerned, strategic planning is a colossal waste of time and energy. I’m not doing one anymore”. Douglas made no bones about it, he was frustrated by the hours he and his staff poured into strategic planning only to have the document sit on the shelf unused and unviewed until the next year when it was time to do it all over again.
What Douglas didn’t realize was that it was his job as CEO to make sure the plan got used, that the priorities set out in the plan were accomplished and that everyone was focused on achieving future goals.
A strategic plan is a management tool used to shape and guide what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it. It positions the organization for the future. Understand the power of the strategic plan and craft one that will amaze and astound your customers and leave your competitors in the dust.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you go through the planning process.
- What is the one thing our organization was worst at this year? What needs to happen to fix it?
- What is the one thing our organization did best this year? How can we turn that into a repeatable process?
- Instead of asking “What keeps us up at night” ask, “What gets us up in the morning?”
- In this age of disruption for businesses and markets, what do we stand for and strongly advocate as an organization? What makes us special?
- What are we doing to reboot our marketing for the new realities of customers buying in dramatically different ways?
- What metrics and strategic thinking exercises are we doing to be more proactive instead of reactive?
- When it comes to customers, what are we doing to move away from “how many” and focus on “who”?
- What are our plans for learning as fast as the world is changing?
- What steps do we take to immerse new and existing employees in the lives and challenges our customers face?
- To identify potential value, ask clients, “What do you never want to do again?” Then figure out what it will take for them to never have to do that again.
- Are we asking enough “why?” questions? If not, why not?
- How many meaningless metrics are part of our measurement process? What is the one key metric that drives success in our business?
The list of questions is endless; the point is to focus on what makes you and your customers unique and build your strategic plan from that point.
Here’s to a wildly successful 2015.