Those of you who are familiar with and use the One Page Strategic Plan know that Columns 5 and 6 are for your Company’s Quarterly Plan and Column 7 is for Individual Quarterly Priorities. So where does Quarterly Planning for the Departments fit in?
First, the Executive Team meets to finalize the Company Priorities and their Individual Priorities for the quarter. In Rhythm strategy management software, this constructs the Company EnergyMap for the quarter.
Following Executive Team Quarterly Planning, each person on the exec team who leads a Department (like the VP of Sales) completes Quarterly Planning with their team. They determine Group Priorities and Individual Priorities for each person on the team. In Rhythm, this constructs the Group EnergyMap for the quarter.
Planning happens from the top down. Department leaders are an integral link between the Company Plan and their teams. It is their responsibility to communicate the Company Plan and ensure their team’s alignment to it.
There are some instances when Departments need to plan and align, but their leader is not a part of the Executive Team. For example, I work with a few clients who have multiple retail locations. For them, it was important for each store to have a Quarterly Plan. The General Managers of the stores, however, were not on the Executive Team. The GMs are led by the VP of Sales. So how does that work?
Ultimately, two things need to happen for proper alignment at a Group Planning session: Groups need to be educated on the Company-level Plan, and they need to determine their Group and Individual Priorities.
In the example of multiple retail locations, our first approach was for the VP of Sales to attend each Group Planning session. The VP was able to communicate the Company Plan effectively because he was part of determining it. The GM and the VP were also both on hand to guide discussion and help the locations set Group and Individual Priorities that were well-aligned.
The team in this example has experimented with a few different scenarios. Once, they involved the entire exec team, and one person from the team was on hand for each Group Planning sessions. This was great for getting them out into the field and helping them stay connected to the front lines. It also gave those in the Groups a chance for some one-on-one time with an exec team member.
Most recently, they had a kickoff meeting with all the GMs together to communicate the Company Plan. From there, they entrusted each GM to go back and have their Group Planning sessions on their own. The cool thing is that they have raised the skill level of each of their GMs in the process. Each GM can now confidently conduct a planning session on their own. They understand and can deploy the Think-Plan-Do methodology of Rhythm. Their organization has now set up to scale and grow their people beautifully.