Is your Strategic Planning Process Designed to Inspire Growth?

Growth.  We all want it — but how?  It starts with a strategic planning process.  If you follow these simple steps, it’ll go a long way toward building your business into something healthy and profitable.

Strategic Planning Process
Photo Credit: pablographix

Take Stock of Who You Are and Your Current Status

Look around.  What, realistically, do you see within your organization?  What do you see from your competitors?  Just as importantly, how do your customers and competitors see you.  Take stock of all of these things, and also look at what your organization has to offer.  What Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) do your employees currently possess?  What materials are at your disposal?

Basically, perform a SWOT Analysis to identify Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat.  Who are the other teams and what do they have to offer?  Who is your team and what do you have to offer?  Be realistic.  The only way to win is to truly understand your state of the business, so you can establish a realistic plan of attack.

Identify Key Organizational Goals

What’s your mission?  What do you hope to accomplish across your organization’s lifetime?  At this point, you could identify a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG): a giant, hard-to-reach goal which points your organization in a given direction.  Elon Musk’s SpaceX, for example, aims to someday colonize Mars.  Think big!  What is your company’s ultimate goal?

Identify What’s Needed to Reach Those Goals  

As we’ve discussed in past articles, you need to figure out the smaller goals required to reach your BHAG.  Start from the end and work backward to your current position.  Are there any steps that require their own mini-goals?
Once you’ve completed this list, you’ll have a roadmap to accomplishing your BHAG.  From there, it’s a matter of executing.  These tasks bring us to the next step . . .

Identify Key Individuals Who Are Responsible for Each Goal

It’s important that everyone on your team knows their specific role, and that you, as a manager, establish performance objectives.  It’s also important that you provide feedback to your employees regarding their performance.  If they don’t understand something, or if something isn’t working out, it’s important for you to adjust as necessary (either adjusting your expectations, adjusting the process to improve performance, or providing some sort of employee training to improve performance).
If you haven’t already, read our article on Why You Should Know How to Coach Employees.  You will certainly find some helpful tips!

Always examine your efforts

Meet regularly with your team (once a month, or at least once every few months) to examine your goals and track your progress toward them.  This is a great time to listen to your team and what they have to say.  Maybe they have ideas to improve performance.  Your employees are a valuable resource!

Reward success

This oft-forgotten step is key to fostering goodwill with your employees.  If you meet your goals, find a way to reward them.  For smaller, short-term goals, a pat on the back and some kind words may be sufficient.  For slightly larger goals, perhaps provide lunch.  Be creative — but most importantly, understand that the best managerial efforts are wasted without the employees’ willingness to follow your orders.  Treat them well.
Would you like a free evaluation of your Strategic Planning Process? Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation. We’ll be happy to assist you.