So many organisations are spending all of their energy on the ‘doing’ and not so much on the planning. When you’re down in the weeds and dealing with the day to day, it can be hard to see when and even why you would find the time to look at the bigger picture.
Not having a strategic plan for your business or team is a bit like getting a bunch of people together on a minibus and taking a road trip without a map. At some point you’ll get lost, there might be some bickering about where to go and how to get there, and you’ll probably run out fuel at some point.
A strategic plan is a well thought out map to guide you to your destination- your key goals over the next 2 -3 years. Creating a strategic plan usually involves some key steps including involves doing some background research (where are we now?), getting clear on your values and purpose (why are we here?), a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), some visioning and defining a set of clear goals. Your plan will give you a breakdown of each key goal and some steps you’ll need to take over the life of the plan so you can achieve it.
One of the great things about a strategic plan is that it can move a team or business from overwhelm to clarity. You can get out of those winding backroads and stop taking wrong turns. The plan will set out the best road to take on each of your goals so you can get there at the right time and with the least possible speed humps.
A strategic plan will also help you work out who needs to be on the bus at any point in time. It means you’ll have the right people involved to achieve those goals. Not everyone in your team needs to be on the bus for every goal and sometimes you’ll need some outside expertise – some extra passengers.
The trick is to have a strategic plan and measure your progress against your goals. And it’s not something you can ‘set and forget’. A strategic plan should have a 2-year cycle where you develop, implement and review your goals and priority actions. Once you get to the end of the 2 years, it’s time to start the cycle again, and that’s if nothing major happens within that 2 years. Major disruptions like Covid-19 or big changes in your organisation or sector might mean you need to revisit the plan sooner. If you wrote your last strategic plan before March 2020 (when Covid-19 hit in Australia), chances are it’s in need of an update.
If you need someone to facilitate your next strategic or business planning session, I’m here to help. The feedback I hear when I’ve led a session is usually something like ‘that was so productive; finally we know where we’re headed. And it was actually fun!’ Yep, strategic planning can actually be fun. Get in touch to find out how and get your team on the same page and travelling together in the right direction.