If you are a Mastering the Rockefeller Habits fan, here are four tips to make your One-Page Strategic Plan work for you. Used correctly, it can accelerate your progress. Used incorrectly, it can quickly become a bureaucratic anchor around your neck.
1. Use your strategic foundation - Your core strategy to drive execution:
Your core strategy is made up of your core purpose, core values, and BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Don't allow your core values to be merely a poster on the wall. Use them purposefully every day. Don't be tempted to hire that great resource who does not demonstrate your core values. Allow your core values to be your veto tool. Hire and fire by your core values. Here's a tip to live your core values: Choose words that you use daily. Don't switch into "corporate speak" when you bring up your core values. To make it stick, it's got to be the way you talk with each other. Do people in your company understand how their daily work helps to achieve the company’s overall mission or purpose? Are they on an exciting journey towards the promised land? Your BHAG is a 10+ year goal that can create excitement and inspiration for the entire team. Too often, I see BHAGs and purpose statements just being cute posters decorating corporate walls with people not understanding how they are part of the exciting journey to achieve the BHAG and purpose.
2. Brand Promise to Win the Right Customers:
Your brand promise is not just a tagline. It is a clear message to your core customers that you understand them and know how to look after them better than anybody else. Your brand promise should clearly show how your product or service is unique and compelling to them. Show them how they are special to you. Build a great brand promise that is compelling to your core customer as well as pleasurable for your team to service. By the way, do you know if your brand promise is working? Tip: Observe who it is attracting. If it does not attract the right customers and help you close deals faster, you need to do better!
3. Make sure your 3 Year Plan has Winning Moves:
Column 3 on your One-Page Strategic Plan has a block for you to document your key thrusts for the next 3-5 years. Here is a common mistake I see many companies make. They forget to include a couple of growth strategies. I call these growth strategies Winning Moves. Instead, I see key thrusts like: grow our leadership team; improve our infrastructure; improve our internal processes. I have nothing against those strategies. They are very necessary as well. However, you need to make sure that you have at least 2 Winning Moves that grow revenue. Revenue growth does not happen automatically. Furthermore, if you do not have a couple of Winning Moves in your 3 Year Plan, you might hit the growth wall in a few years.
4. Complete Your Quarterly Plan, Cascade it to Your Departments and Teams:
The right side of your One-Page Strategic Plan helps you come up with the right big rocks every quarter. You need four great quarters to have a great year! Here's the thing, for companies with more than 100 employees or associates, you also need to extend or cascade this planning process to your departments and teams. Your plan is not complete until your departments and teams also have their execution plan for the quarter that is aligned and linked back to the company plan. Doing your quarterly plan on paper or in Excel limits how you cascade your plan. Execution depends on team alignment, up and down as well as left and right. For horizontal alignment, you need a tool that allows you to share and connect your priorities between teams. You need a tool that supports cascading your plan.
Bonus tip! It’s Time To Work Your One-Page Strategic Plan:
This is a great tool to help you to think and discuss your strategic plan. Now that you are ready to execute, real breakthroughs happen when you can work the plan, not plan the plan. To work the plan, you need to go beyond the paper or Excel document. You need to:
- Cascade your plan to other departments and teams
- Test your plan to make sure that you have enough energy going to the top priorities
- Forecast your progress weekly and solve problems
- Connect your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to your daily work and your plan
When you have more than 100 people in your company, complexity begins to set in, and paper and Excel no long work well. If you would like to see how growing larger mid-market companies do this well, check out our webinar with Somerset CPAs!
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