Empower Your Business with a Powerful Strategic Plan
Just imagine if everyone in an organization fully understood the goals they were trying to achieve. Like a team of horses pulling a chariot everyone would be going in the same direction. All their energy would be dedicated to reaching the desired destination quicker than they ever imagined.
Every business or organization goes through occasional periods where they feel “stuck”. There is a general feeling that things are not moving forward, there is a lack of focus where everyone is going in different directions. The result is low business performance caused by confusion and unmotivated staff.
Going through the strategic planning process can be very empowering for an organization. The result is a document that provides the resolve for all involved to forge ahead and stay the course. A Strategic Plan is a general long term plan ranging from 3 to 5 years. Here are the key steps to develop an effective and empowering strategic plan.
Develop a Values/Vision/Mission Statement
Values – Defines your values when it comes to integrity, work ethic, quality, treatment of others etc. This will set the tone and culture of your organization and will translate into how you and your team will treat all stakeholders.
Vision – Defines what your organization will look like and accomplish within a certain period of time.
Mission Statement – Develop a Mission Statement that summarizes the actions your organization will take to achieve your vision and values. It should be stated in a way that can be easily communicated to all of your stakeholders.
Goals– What are your 3 and 5 year goals?
Conduct a SWOT Analysis
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Spend considerable time identifying and analyzing each. This exercise is extremely valuable in understanding the potential and limitations of company resources and to identify road blocks or obstacles.
Here are some ideas to help you with your analysis:
Strengths – What does your company do best or better than your competition? What strengths can you build on? What characteristics will allow your company to excel? Do you have proprietary IP or specific skills that most do not have?
Weaknesses – What skills or knowledge needs to be improved? Are there areas with your product or service that may cause problems? Do you have the financial resources to grow and run your business? Are there operational processes or inefficiencies holding you back?
Opportunities – Based on your strengths, what existing markets or segments can you focus on? Are there new markets or products that you can focus on? What more could you do if you addressed your company’s weaknesses?
Threats – These are factors that may or may not be beyond your control. They include economic conditions, Government policies, competition or changing markets. How would you deal with each of these threats if they came to fruition? Having a plan for each will allow you to react more quickly, more decisively and hopefully even avoid the threats all together.
Create An Action Plan
The final step is to decide on the strategic actions the organization needs to take to achieve the vision and goals set in the plan. Tasks should be assigned to specific people or departments with accountabilities and timelines attached.
Communicate the Plan To Stakeholders
Once the plan is in place it is imperative that everyone understands their role in achieving the plan and you have their complete “buy in”. Without the “buy in” the chariot may not arrive at the desired destination and definitely within the planned time frame.
Monitor & Adjust
Team meetings should be held on a regular basis to monitor progress and to ensure that goals are being achieved within the prescribed timelines. Make any necessary adjustments and stay the course.
Tony Malyk, Vancouver Business Performance Coach
Empowered Business Coaching.